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Help wanted: More cleaners needed as S’poreans go back to office life

But locals don't want to be cleaners, say cleaning companies

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Singapore—CNA reports that some cleaning service firms are receiving renewed requests for their services in the wake of the Apr 5 announcement that more people would be allowed to return to their offices.

For some firms such as Clean Lab, which is quoted in the report, the next fortnight is booked solid by businesses that have requested cleaning and disinfection services.

As people have been working from home during the pandemic over the past year, dust and dirt have taken their toll in offices, hence the need for intensive cleaning.

But a one-time immediate thorough cleaning is not the only need. 

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CNA added that more firms are wanting to hire professional cleaners for regular cleaning and maintenance.

As this was unnecessary last year, many regular cleaners were let go.

Facebook screengrab: Getz Cleanz Pte Ltd

And now, companies are in need of regular cleaners again.

The pandemic has also highlighted the need for sanitation and good hygiene more than ever, and the public has been on heightened alert to prevent infections that could lead to possible grave illness or even death.

Clean Lab and Nimbus, another cleaning company, have seen a 20 per cent uptick in service orders lately, according to the report, while others say they are adopting a wait-and-see attitude for the near future, since there are a number of firms who are not yet sending employees back to their offices.

And many cleaning services have experienced an increase in demand not only in the past week but since the pandemic started.

Mr Raymond Ng, the managing director of Conrad Maintenance Services, told CNA that the company had been doing more work since last year — with some offices needing cleaning in its high-touch areas at least twice daily and a corresponding increase in requests for disinfection.

He added that Conrad Maintenance is “facing a very serious manpower problem, probably the worst since I started 18 years ago,” saying that the company has had difficulty in hiring locals, who have not been interested despite the higher salaries offered. 

The current cleaning team of Conrad Maintenance has been working longer hours to meet the demand.

His concerns were echoed by senior sales executive Joelle Een of CKS General Services, which operates CleanOne, which lost over half its employees when they went back to Malaysia in 2020. 

“So we try to hire locally. We have posted job advertisements offering S$1,800 to S$2,300 for the past six to nine months but no one wants to be a cleaner,” she said.

/TISG

Read also: “I’ve never worked so hard,” says elderly cleaner about impact of Covid-19

“I’ve never worked so hard,” says elderly cleaner about impact of Covid-19

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