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Why I love running my own business

I’ve run my own business for 11 years so far and it’s been a rollercoaster of experiences and emotions.

When the cost of living crisis loomed, I wondered if it was time to hang up my entrepreneurial hat and become employed. After about a week of considering this prospect, I realised I am now unemployable. The desire to work for anyone else is permanently in the past.

The rewards

Running a business must be like raising a child or being in a long term romantic relationship. There are good days and challenging days. But for so much of the time the rewards of seeing people’s lives transformed through interacting with my businesses spurs me on to continue.

Just Helpers: The ethical cleaning agency

I started Just Helpers accidentally. In 2013 I left my job as a secondary school teacher, because I wanted to focus on campaigning against the exploitation of migrant workers. I needed to support myself while I did this, and as I’ve always enjoyed cleaning, it was a natural choice.

Then, I realised there was an opportunity here to combine the two. By creating a cleaning business with fair pay and decent working conditions at its heart, I could help migrant and other low-paid workers. So Just Helpers was born.

Now, we work across London, matching clients with Helpers (they are more than cleaners!) and we are proud to be affiliated to the Living Wage Foundation.

Justly: The tech solution

A few years in to running Just Helpers, I realised that the tech available for the cleaning industry was not adequate. It wasn’t solving the problems we were encountering as a business. And this is still a common lament in the cleaning industry.

So we set out to create our own solution. Right now, we are in the middle of birthing Justly working to create a system that works for cleaning businesses. We are at the scary stage of looking for investors, but we are excited about the future.

EntrePLANeurs: The support tribe for female business owners

My latest passion project is EntrePLANeurs which I have set up with my great friend Lynsey Harrison. We wanted to create a safe space for women in business, following the emotional strain of juggling a business and family responsibilities during COVID. We have a Facebook Group and we offer regular retreat days for female business owners to meet together, support one another and focus on growing their business.

My Why

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching as I look forward to turning 50 in 2024. I’m asking existential questions like why am I here on the planet?

The common thread in my life is a drive to empower people to find their joy. I want to enable them to work from a place of strength, and to positively impact the world around them. The freedom to call the shots, set the culture, and work with the people that share your vision and passion is an amazing thing to be able to do. And I get all of this running my own business.

Through a combination of the businesses, we have impacted thousands of lives. We have spread the message about the need to treat people with dignity, and to pay them a wage that enables them to thrive. We have shown people in low paid work that they have the right to thrive in their work and their lives – through fair pay and decent conditions.

I am conscious that I have less birthdays ahead than I have behind me. I no longer have a desire to save the entire world. But I am very clear that I am a a changemaker, through the way I run my business, spend my money, interact with strangers and impact a few individuals. This is how we change the world – one person at a time – and this has meaning and worth.

How to pay your cleaner

Hiring a cleaner can be a great way to free up your time and take care of your home.

But you might be worrying about how to pay your cleaner. How much should you pay – and how can you make sure you are paying your cleaner fairly? Here are my tips.

Do your research

Find out the going rate for cleaning in your area. Remember that the cost of cleaning will vary from area to area. If you live in a city, you can expect to pay more per hour than in more rural areas. In London, costs are higher still.

Offer a fair rate for your cleaning and you are more likely to attract a great cleaner to work in your home – and they will stay for longer. By paying your cleaner the Real Living Wage, you can be confident you are paying a fair hourly rate. Check here for the latest rates.

What’s included?

As well as the time spent cleaning your home, when you are working out how to pay your cleaner, there are other considerations to include.

You can expect to pay for travel time to your home, so make sure you include this.
Will you pay holiday pay? Choosing to do this will make a huge difference to your cleaner. You can read the government guidance on how to calculate holiday pay here. This guide from ACAS is also helpful.

Have you considered how to pay your cleaner if they are sick? Research shows that many cleaners feel they have to work when they are unwell, because they do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay. By paying your cleaner sick pay, you will be contributing hugely to their wellbeing.

Arranging your cleaning through an agency eliminates the hassle of working out how to pay your cleaner. A reputable agency will deal with all of this for you, so you can relax and enjoy your clean, calm home.

What’s the budget?

How much can you afford to pay for your cleaning? If you have a budget in mind, and you know the hourly rate for cleaning in your area, you will be able to work out how many hours of cleaning you can afford.

Then it’s time to contact potential cleaners to see if they are a good fit for you and your home.

Talking about pay

Many of us feel awkward talking about money. And discussing pay with a potential cleaner is no exception. But by making sure everyone is clear about the pay rate from the beginning, you will avoid problems and misunderstandings down the track.

Agree the number of hours your cleaner will spend on each visit, or which tasks they will complete – and how much you will pay for the work.

Talk to your cleaner about whether monthly or weekly payment is best. Agree how you will pay your cleaner (cash, cheque, or via your bank) and stick to it. One thing I insist on with my Helper is paying them at the beginning of the month rather than the end. This gives them cashflow security and peace of mind.

Of course, you should always pay your cleaner on time. This will help you maintain a great working relationship, as well as being a sign of your respect for them and their work.

Gifting and tipping

You may feel you would like to recognise religious festivals or special occasions with a gift for your cleaner. This is a lovely way to show your appreciation for their work.

Instead of giving wine or flowers, consider paying your cleaner a cash bonus. If you would prefer to give a voucher, Post Office Gift Cards are a great option as they can be used in a wide range of shops.

Final thoughts

When you are deciding how to pay your cleaner, there’s a lot to think about. But get it right, and you can be confident you can enjoy a clean conscience as well as a clean home.

Why businesses stick with an underperforming cleaning team

An underperforming cleaning team can impact your whole business.

Yet in the UK, businesses frequently find themselves staying with cleaning teams that are falling short of expectations.

We delve into the barriers to switching, and potential solutions.

Cost Concerns

Opting to switch to a new cleaning team often involves additional costs. These might be recruitment, training, and administrative expenses. However, as a business you probably aim to keep costs low. So, you might hesitate to invest in a new team, even when you aren’t satisfied with the performance of your existing team.

Lack of Alternatives

Sometimes, there might be a scarcity of available cleaning services in your area. You might have found it difficult in the past to find a cleaning team that meets your needs. This can lead you to stick with your current, underperforming cleaning team.

Contractual Agreements

Many businesses enter into contracts with cleaning companies for a set period. Breaking such contracts could lead to legal and financial complications. So, you might choose to wait until the contract comes towards its end, before looking for a new cleaning team. Wouldn’t it be great to have a monthly rolling contract?!

Perceived Hassle

Moving to a new cleaning team can be a time-consuming process. It often involves researching cleaning providers, negotiating contracts, training the new team, and managing initial disruptions. As a business owner juggling competing priorities, you might choose to avoid this perceived hassle by sticking with an underperforming cleaning team.

Employee Relationships

When a cleaning team has been working with a business for a while, you can feel a a sense of loyalty to individual cleaners. You might even feel uncomfortable or guilty about switching to a new team.

Unawareness of an underperforming cleaning team

Sometimes, you may not be aware you have an underperforming cleaning team. If you aren’t actively monitoring the quality of the cleaning service you are getting, you might stay with a team that isn’t up to scratch. Is it time to do the white glove test?

Fear of Disruption

Introducing a new cleaning team could disrupt your business’s operations, particularly if the transition is not seamless. Perhaps you worry that the adjustment period will impact on customer experiences.

Decision Procrastination

Even if you aren’t satisfied with how your cleaning team is performing, it can be difficult to make that decision to switch. With competing priorities in your business, finding a new cleaning team may keep getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do your list.

Internal Bureaucracy

If you work in a larger organisation, bureaucracy can slow down decision-making. For example, there might be several layers of approval. And this can delay the process of changing cleaning teams, even if there is agreement that the current team is falling short.

Hoping to improve an underperforming cleaning team

You might provide the current cleaning team with opportunities to improve their performance over time. For example, you might offer feedback and targets, before choosing to switch.

Choosing a professional cleaning service

When you opt for a professional cleaning service for your business, you are choosing reliability and competence. You want a company that you can trust to do the right thing. And if there’s a problem, you need to know it will be sorted, and quickly.

So it’s well worth investing time and resources in choosing a cleaning service that’s right for you.
Businesses who go with somebody that sticks something through the letterbox, and don’t know who these people really are or anything about them, are often storing up problems for the future.
By entrusting your cleaning to a reputable service, you will have peace of mind and security. And you will save yourself time and hassle in the long run.

Final thoughts

All businesses are unique and the reasons behind sticking with an underperforming cleaning team can be diverse.
However, as a business owner, it is important to consider the impact of sticking with a cleaning time that isn’t delivering. And this can affect your operations, employee morale, and customer satisfaction. So if your cleaning team consistently falls short and affects business, it is worth taking the time to address it. Can you afford not to?

Explore your options, and research alternative cleaning providers. Ask for recommendations from other businesses you trust. Trustpilot is a great way to check out a potential cleaning service.
A clean, calm and healthy working environment is key to productivity and a happy workforce. And investing in a professional, responsive cleaning service is a decision worth taking. Good luck out there!

How To Find A Great Cleaner

Maintaining a clean and tidy living space is essential for a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. From experience, if you can find a great cleaner, this can be a magic key to returning your sanity.

However, if you’re anything like me, with a busy schedule and numerous responsibilities, making time to find a great cleaner can be a challenge in and of itself. 

If you’re wondering how to find a great cleaner in the UK, look no further. In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the process. I’ll highlight some of the best places to look for reputable cleaning services.

In A Rush? Here Are the Headlines!

  1. Recommendations from Friends and Family
  2. Local Newspapers and Community Notice Boards
  3. Online Platforms
  4. Social Media
  5. Cleaning Agencies
  6. Apps for On-Demand Cleaning
  7. Local Business Directories
  8. Professional Cleaning Associations
  9. Reputation Based Organisations like the Living Wage Foundation

Love The Detail? Read On!

Recommendations from Friends and Family

Firstly, one of the most reliable ways to find a trustworthy cleaner is by seeking recommendations from your friends, family, or colleagues. Their personal experiences provide valuable insights into the quality of service you can expect. Also, word-of-mouth referrals often lead to dependable and efficient cleaning solutions. This worked for me. I stalked my wonderful helper and observed how she cleaned in the home of a close friend over several months.

Local Newspapers and Community Notice Boards

So, don’t underestimate the power of more ‘retro’ methods like local newspapers and community notice boards. Many reputable cleaning businesses still advertise their services through these channels. Check the classifieds section or community boards in your neighbourhood for contact details of cleaning companies offering their services.

Online Platforms

Undoubtedly, the digital age has revolutionised the way we find services, and cleaning is no exception. Online platforms and directories offer a convenient way to search for cleaners in your area. Websites like Gumtree (a personal favourite), Yelp, and Check-a-trade allow you to read reviews, compare prices, and directly contact cleaning professionals.

Social Media

Social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Instagram, have become powerful tools for connecting with local businesses, this includes cleaning services. Look for local community groups or pages where people share recommendations and reviews. You can also use hashtags and location tags to narrow down your search.

Cleaning Agencies

All in all, cleaning agencies act as intermediaries between cleaners and clients. They offer a range of cleaning services to suit your needs. Many agencies typically vet their cleaners and provide insurance coverage, giving you an added layer of security. simple online search for “cleaning agencies in the UK” can lead you to a plethora of options. As ever, I would exhort you to only search for an ethical cleaning agency

Apps for On-Demand Cleaning

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of on-demand cleaning apps. So many of these apps allow you to book cleaning services at your convenience, often offering same-day or next-day appointments. The downside is that you can’t guarantee the same cleaner each time, and I always worry about the level of vetting that goes on via these apps. You may need to think of this in terms of the Uber cleaning option.

Local Business Directories

Furthermore, Local business directories, both online and printed, are valuable resources for finding cleaners in your area. Websites like Yell or Thomson Local can provide a comprehensive list of cleaning services along with their contact information.

Professional Cleaning Associations

Reputable cleaners often belong to professional cleaning associations or organisations. These associations uphold certain standards of service quality and ethics. For instance, the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) is a renowned organisation that promotes excellence in cleaning practices.

Reputation Based Organisations

Lastly, If strong ethics are your thing, then head over to organisations such as the Living Wage Foundation or B Corp to help you find a list of providers that feel the same way about people, planet and profit as you do. So often,this is often my starting point.

In conclusion, when it comes to finding a cleaner in the UK, you have a variety of avenues to explore. Whether you prefer traditional methods like word-of-mouth recommendations or modern digital platforms, there’s should be a solution that suits your preferences. 

Remember to consider factors like reviews, prices, and the range of services offered when making your decision. For that reason, I personally love Trustpilot.

With the right approach and a little research, you’ll soon enjoy the benefits of a spotless and organised living space. Move over stressful weekends. Hello freedom!

What is the cost of hiring a cleaner

Are you wondering about the cost of hiring a cleaner for your home?

A clean and orderly space is essential for a comfortable and healthy style. But with busy lives, it can be a challenge to fit in a thorough cleaning routine. Is it time to call in the professionals?

The cost of hiring a cleaner

Your first consideration might be the cost of hiring a cleaner. How much can you expect to pay, and how long will your cleaner stay?

Of course, paying for cleaning in your home is an additional regular expense. And at a time when we are all watching our budgets, the cost of hiring a cleaner might feel painful.

Peace of mind

But the peace of mind of having a clean home (and your weekends back!) is priceless. Knowing someone reliable is taking care of your cleaning can feel like a giant weight has been lifted from your shoulders. It can give you more time to relax, or to get other things done. You no longer need to feel stressed about your home, because you know it is consistently and thoroughly cleaned.

Calculating the cost

The cost of hiring a cleaner in the UK can vary significantly. Your location, the size of your property, and the level of service you need are all factors in this. On average, the hourly rate for a cleaner in the UK in 2023 is £18.75, with a range from £12 – £33ph. However, this figure should be higher in London and larger cities, and lower in more rural areas.

  • Basic tasks like dusting and vacuuming generally cost less than more specialised tasks such as deep cleaning, washing windows or cleaning upholstery.
  • Regular cleaning appointments (e.g. weekly or bi-weekly) may cost less per visit compared to one-time or occasional deep cleaning sessions.
  • If you require additional services like laundry, ironing, or oven cleaning, these can add to the overall cost.
  • If your home is larger and has more rooms, this will obviously take longer to clean. So you can expect to pay more, accordingly.
  • Some cleaners bring their own cleaning supplies, while others may ask you to provide them. Again, this is a factor in the cost of your clean.

How long will my cleaner stay?

On average, a standard cleaning session usually lasts between 2 and 4 hours. A larger property will take longer. But here are a few more things to think about when you consider how long your cleaner should stay.

  • A regular, maintenance clean may take less time than a more intensive deep clean
  • If your home has several bathrooms, this can impact the duration of your cleaning session
  • A cluttered space will take longer to clean – so a quick tidy round beforehand will speed things up for your cleaner
  • If you have asked for extra tasks such as ironing or oven cleaning, this will extend your cleaning visit.
  • A more experienced cleaner will often work more efficiently – giving you a faster, better clean.

Do your research

Before you hire a cleaner, it’s a great idea to research cleaning providers in your area. Get recommendations from friends and neighbours, and check out reviews on Trustpilot.

Arranging your cleaning through a reputable provider will give you peace of mind and ensure you have a clear point of contact if you have any concerns. It’s also great to know your cleaner is being paid fairly and treated with respect.

Take a look at the different services available and see what suits your needs and your budget.

Many cleaning services offer an initial consultation to assess your needs. They can provide you with a free quotation for the cost of hiring a cleaner through them, and how many hours of cleaning you need.

Final thoughts

Remember, the investment in a cleaner not only saves you time and effort but also contributes to a healthier and more enjoyable living environment. Whether you opt for regular cleaning or occasional deep cleans, having a cleaner can be a game-changer, making your home more relaxing and welcoming. Isn’t that well worth the cost of hiring a cleaner?

Things to Keep in Mind When Getting a Cleaner

In today’s little chat, I’d like to shed light on some often overlooked aspects of getting a cleaner in the UK. 

Keeping your living space clean and organised is a priority, and making the decision to hire a cleaner comes with its own set of considerations. 

In this post, we’ll explore some key points that might not immediately come to mind when thinking about hiring a cleaner.

Maybe you’re not hesitant.  And just want to jump on it. Maybe you think to yourself I can hire someone to do this!

This sentiment resonates with many people who have recognised the value of professional cleaning services. Taking the step to delegate cleaning tasks allows you to:

  • regain control over your time
  • focus on what truly matters to you
  • end relationship disputes
  • create mental balance and headspace
  • increase your feeling of well-being

It’s easy to believe that you can manage this task yourself, especially if, for example, you’ve gone from working 50/60 hours a week to being a stay-at-home mum. Many individuals initially believe they can handle household cleaning on their own, especially during transitional periods. Newsflash! We can’t do or have it all.

However, as circumstances change and responsibilities grow, the need for assistance usually becomes evident. 

Is This True For You? 

Did things change when you moved? Did it all became a bit much? Do you want to be doing other things rather than cleaning? Are you already busily involved at your daughter’s school, your mosque/church/temple? Are you the president of your darts club? You get my drift.

Balancing various commitments alongside maintaining a clean and orderly home can be overwhelming. Embracing the support of professional cleaners can alleviate this burden and allow you to engage in activities that truly fulfil you.

Now, let’s delve into the key aspects of hiring a cleaner that go beyond the surface:

Personalised Cleaning Plans: 

Cleaning needs vary from home to home. Reputable cleaning services take the time to understand your specific requirements. Whether it’s focusing on specific areas or using eco-friendly products, a personalised cleaning plan ensures your home receives the care it truly deserves. It can often take between 2-3 cleans to get the measure of you and your home. Give your cleaner a settling in period. That said, you should still feel hopeful and excited after their first clean.

Getting a Cleaner Who is Trustworthy: 

Your home is your haven, so trust is paramount. Reputable cleaning agencies carry out thorough background checks on their cleaning staff. This provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your home is in capable and trustworthy hands. It is more than reasonable for you to ask for references, DBS checks, proof of ID and address. Better to be safe than sorry.

Getting a Cleaner who has Insurance Coverage: 

Accidents can happen, even in well-maintained spaces. Professional cleaning agencies provide liability insurance to cover potential damages or injuries during the cleaning process. This added layer of security helps safeguard you from unexpected costs. Make sure that your cleaner is covered for accidental damage and loss of keys. I recommend Hiscox or any company who are underwritten by them.

Flexibility and Convenience: 

Life is unpredictable, and schedules can change abruptly. When considering a cleaner, it’s worth noting their flexibility in scheduling. A reliable cleaning service understands the demands of your busy lifestyle and offers flexible cleaning options that seamlessly fit into your routine. Flexibility cuts both ways though. Do remember that your cleaner is a human being with their own business to run and occasional family emergencies.

Equipment and Supplies: 

Many professional cleaners come equipped with their tools and products. This not only saves you time and money but also ensures that the right products are used for various surfaces. Be prepared for this to elevate your price – rightly so!

Getting a Cleaner who is Consist in Their Cleaning: 

Ensuring a consistent level of cleanliness can be challenging with individual cleaners. Professional agencies ensure that you receive a consistent service, even if your regular cleaner is unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances. If you hire your cleaner direct, ask them what their contingency plans are for when they are on holiday or unwell.

Deep Cleaning Expertise: 

Regular cleaning tasks are essential, but occasional deep cleaning is equally important. Professional cleaners possess the expertise and equipment to tackle those hard-to-reach areas that may have been overlooked. An oven clean or internal window cleaning might be things you ask your prospective cleaner about.

Time and Energy Savings: 

Beyond the visible cleanliness, hiring a cleaner allows you to reclaim your precious time and energy. Imagine spending weekends or evenings doing things you enjoy, rather than cleaning.

Customisable Frequency

Perhaps you don’t require cleaning every week, or maybe you need more frequent assistance during busier periods. Professional cleaning agencies offer customisable options to suit your needs.

Community Support: 

By hiring a local cleaning service, you’re contributing to your local economy. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement: a clean home for you and support for local businesses.

The decision to hire a cleaner encompasses more than just tidiness. From personalised cleaning plans to insurance coverage and time saved, there are several factors to consider when choosing a professional cleaning service. 

We hope this post has provided valuable insights to help you make an informed decision when it comes to maintaining a clean and inviting home. If this all feels a bit headachy, then you could let a reliable cleaning service be your ally in keeping your home a refreshing and stress-free environment. Good luck out there!

My top ethical cleaning companies in London

At a time when sustainability and ethical considerations are gaining prominence, the appetite for environmentally conscious, ethical cleaning services is increasing. London, a bustling metropolis celebrated for its diversity and innovation, is home to a selection of cleaning companies that for the most part, claim to be ethical. Let’s explore 3 of my top ethical cleaning companies in London that I believe are really making a positive impact.

1. Environmentally Responsible Practices

One hallmark of an ethical cleaning company is their commitment to using environmentally friendly practices. These companies prioritise the use of biodegradable cleaning products. Additionally, they minimise the impact of harmful chemicals on your cleaner, living spaces and the ecosystem. Overall, their practices aim to create clean environments without compromising the well-being of future generations.

2. Sustainable Cleaning Solutions

Green cleaning companies in London embrace sustainable solutions. From utilising energy-efficient cleaning equipment to implementing waste reduction strategies, these companies strive to reduce their carbon footprint while providing impeccable cleaning services. Their dedication extends to promoting the use of reusable and refillable containers for cleaning products, thereby minimising single-use plastic waste.

3. Holistic Well-being

Ethical cleaning goes beyond surface cleanliness. Many more companies in London are adopting a holistic approach that integrates well-being into their cleaning practices, recognising that a clean environment contributes to mental clarity and tranquillity. As a result of using natural and non-toxic cleaning agents, these companies create spaces that support the health and harmony of occupants.

4. Transparency and Accountability

A defining characteristic of ethical cleaning companies is transparency in their operations. They openly share information about their cleaning processes, product ingredients, and environmental initiatives. These businesses often hold certifications from recognised environmental organisations, providing customers with confidence that their services align with sustainable and ethical standards.

5. Customisable Cleaning Plans

Ethical cleaning companies in London understand that every customer’s needs are unique. They offer customisable cleaning plans that cater to individual preferences and requirements. This approach not only ensures that customers receive the specific services they desire but also reflects the company’s commitment to delivering value in a sustainable manner.

6. Take Good Care of ‘Their People’

One of the biggest things (IMHO) is the way a company treats the people who work for it. Fair pay, with the Real Living Wage as a baseline is a great starter for 10. In addition, I would expect to see bonuses and recognition for good work, statutory leave baked into all terms and conditions and dignity and respect under girding every interaction. A great question to ask is around the turnover of staff.

Below are 3 Shining Example of Ethical Cleaning Companies in London

1. Clean For Good

Clean for Good (now B Corp certified) stands as a distinguished, award-winning professional cleaning company catering to diverse workspaces across London. Their primary commitment revolves around providing a superior cleaning experience while contributing to the creation of ‘Covid-19 Secure’ workplaces. They have an initial comprehensive visit where they attentively listen to their clients’ requirements, enabling them to craft personalised and tailored cleaning schedules.

One hallmark touch lies in their unwavering attention to detail. An assigned account manager will collaborate directly with you and make regular visits to ensure that both your standards and theirs are consistently met. Having met each of their fabulous senior managers over the years, I can’t recommend them highly enough. These guys really walk their talk.

2. The London Ethical Cleaning Company

The London Ethical Cleaning Company emerges as a sustainable and ethically driven cleaning service catering to offices and commercial establishments within London. What undoubtedly distinguishes them is their unwavering dedication to compassionate leadership and the well-being of their staff. This commitment to not only environmental sustainability but also the nurturing of their workforce makes them a standout presence in the realm of ethical cleaning services.

3. Cleaning Express

In the land of professional cleaning services, Cleaning Express stands as a transformative force. It is driven by excellence, ethics, and unwavering customer satisfaction. Their people reportedly say that being a part of the company is a true privilege. Their expert services span a diverse range of spaces, including luxury offices, business centres, schools, and private as well as NHS clinics. The company is also a trusted domestic cleaning provider for individuals ranging from vulnerable residents to high-profile celebrities. Though if they say who, they might have to kill you 😉

Chiefly, what truly sets Cleaning Express apart is its unyielding commitment to robust ethical principles. Furthermore, they strive for constant improvement in their cleaning standards, top-tier customer service, and sophisticated operational systems. This unwavering dedication has caused them to achieve remarkable year-on-year growth, thus cementing its status as an industry leader.

Nurturing a Cleaner, Greener Tomorrow

Therefore, as the world transitions towards a more conscious and sustainable way of life, the realm of cleaning services continues to evolve in positive ways. London, a city vibrant with innovation and diversity, boasts a multitude of ethical and green cleaning companies. They weave environmental consciousness and responsible practices into their core. E.g. from embracing sustainable cleaning methods to prioritising employee well-being and contributing to a reduced carbon footprint, these companies are making waves in nurturing a cleaner, greener tomorrow. The journey towards a more sustainable and ethical world, therefore, begins with each choice we make. By contracting these forward-thinking cleaning companies, we embrace a cleaner present and a greener future for generations to come. Choose wisely my friends!

Why Cleaners Deserve The Living Wage

In the bustling metropolis of London, where the city’s heartbeat never seems to slow down, a group of unsung heroes exits. They work tirelessly to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of our homes and workplaces. These diligent individuals are the cleaners. The backbone of our society. They often go unnoticed despite their invaluable contributions. In this blog, we aim to shed light on the importance of recognising the efforts of cleaners and why they truly deserve the Real Living Wage, not whatever the current minimum wage.

The Essential Role of Cleaners:

Cleaners play a pivotal role in keeping our living and working spaces safe, healthy, and pleasant to inhabit. They do all sorts of unpleasant tasks from; 

  • Cleaning our loos (and all the drips and splatters than entails)
  • Scrubbing floors
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Emptying rubbish bins
  • Organising clutter

They work diligently to ensure our environments remain tidy, clean and functional. Their contributions not only enhance our overall well-being but also boost productivity and morale in workplaces and contribute to a positive living experience.

Challenging Working Conditions:

Despite the crucial role cleaners play, their job is not without its challenges. Long working hours, physically demanding tasks, and exposure to various cleaning agents can take a toll on their health. Many cleaners work multiple jobs to make ends meet. They often sacrifice their own well-being to support their families. By earning the Real Living Wage, they would have an opportunity to lead a more secure and dignified life.

Just Helpers shares tips on getting your workplace COVID secure
Cleaners often work unsociably hours, ensuring our spaces are clean when we arrive to work

Addressing Economic Inequality:

The soaring cost of living in London is no secret. Many cleaners face the harsh reality of trying to survive on minimum wages that fall short of meeting basic needs. By earning a fair living wage, cleaners can have access to better healthcare, education, and housing options. A fair wage alleviates the burden of financial stress on them and creates a more equitable society for all.

Professionalism and Skill:

Cleaners may not always receive the recognition they deserve. Did you know their job demands professionalism and skill? Properly cleaning and maintaining spaces requires:

  • Knowledge of various cleaning techniques
  • Understanding different surfaces
  • Using the right tools. 
  • Understanding the interaction between different chemicals

Therefore, a fair wage would reflect the level of expertise and effort that goes into their work.

Enhancing Job Satisfaction:

Fair wages not only improve the financial well-being of cleaners but also enhance their job satisfaction and motivation. When we as individuals feel valued and respected for our work, we are more likely to take pride in what we do.  We perform tasks to the best of our abilities.  Cleaners are just like you and I.

Building a Stronger Cleaning Industry:

By advocating for cleaners to earn the Real Living Wage, we can foster a stronger and more sustainable cleaning industry. Attracting skilled and dedicated professionals to the field will; 

  1. Improve service quality
  2. Increase retention 
  3. Promote greater job stability

This benefits both clients and cleaners alike.

Cleaners are the unsung heroes who work diligently behind the scenes to ensure our spaces remain clean and inviting. Their hard work, dedication, and professionalism make our lives easier and more pleasant. It is high time we recognise their essential contributions and support their right to earn the London living wage. By doing so, we can create a fairer, more equitable society while fostering a thriving and sustainable cleaning industry. 

I know I want to use an agency where people are treated well, paid well and ensured holiday benefits, and this feels particularly important now when zero-hour contracts and poor treatment of workers are prevalent in the media.  

Do Your Cleaners Deserve The Living Wage?

Lastly, how about you and your cleaner?

The fact is that paying people the real living wage is good for people and good for society. Everyone needs and deserves  a wage that meets their everyday needs.

Therefore, let’s stand together and champion the cause of cleaners. Let’s empower them to lead fulfilling lives and be able to continue providing us with their invaluable services.

Why do Women End Up Doing All the Housework?

In the ever-evolving landscape of gender roles and expectations, it’s disheartening to witness that even in 2023, women often find themselves shouldering the majority of household chores. A Guardian survey shows that they feel they end up doing all of the housework. Covid lockdown revealed that between 60-70% of women and girls assumed a greater responsibility for housework and cooking than their make counterparts. Despite the progress made in various aspects of gender equality, the division of housework remains a prevailing issue. Surprisingly, the guilt associated with seeking external help for domestic tasks adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation. In this blog, we delve into the root causes behind this. We explore ways to challenge these norms and enable us foster a more equitable and supportive home environment for everyone.

Understanding the Household Gender Divide

Historically, societal norms have assigned specific roles to men and women within the household. Traditional gender roles have perpetuated the notion that women are primarily responsible for maintaining the home, while men focus on external responsibilities. Despite significant advancements towards gender equality, these deeply ingrained stereotypes continue to influence household dynamics.

The Emotional Labour Factor

Beyond the physical aspect of housework, there’s another dimension at play: emotional labour. This refers to the mental and emotional effort involved in organising and managing a household, including planning, delegating tasks, and remembering various responsibilities. Women often find themselves disproportionately carrying this burden, which can lead to burnout and a sense of emotional exhaustion.

Societal Expectations and Pressures

Societal expectations further exacerbate the household gender divide. Women may feel judged or criticised if their homes don’t meet certain standards. This can be the case even if they are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities outside the house. As a result, they may internalise the belief that seeking help signifies a personal failure, rather than a pragmatic decision to alleviate the workload.

Breaking Free from the Guilt

Recognise and Challenge Gender Norms: Acknowledge that traditional gender roles are outdated. Both partners in a relationship can (and should) share household responsibilities in a way that suits their individual strengths and preferences.

Open Communication: Encourage open and honest conversations about household chores and the emotional labour involved. Discuss how each partner can contribute effectively and support each other in maintaining a balanced and harmonious home.

Seeking External Help is Empowering: Embrace the idea that seeking professional cleaning help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a practical step towards reclaiming time for activities that truly matter to you.

Share Responsibilities Equitably: Create a schedule that allocates tasks fairly, considering each person’s availability and abilities. Rotate responsibilities regularly to ensure a sense of shared ownership.

In 2023, it’s crucial to challenge the norms that perpetuate the gendered division of household labour. By fostering open communication, challenging stereotypes, and embracing external support, we pave the way towards a more equitable and guilt-free future for everyone. At Just Helpers, we have a mixed gender team. We provide top-notch cleaning services to households across London. This contributes to a fairer distribution of responsibilities and allows individuals to reclaim their time and energy. 

Together, let’s build a society where everyone can thrive. Let’s stop being weighed down by outdated expectations and make sure that the womenfolk are not left holding the baby while doing all the housework.

How to Ethically and Responsibly Hire A Cleaner

Figuring out how to hire a cleaner ethically and responsibly can be a dizzying minefield! In this blog post, we present you with a step-by-step guide to hiring a cleaner with integrity. By following this, it will allow you to make responsible choices for your home and office cleaning needs.

We list the 9 things we think you should check when selecting an ethical cleaning agency:

Step 1: Prioritise Ethical and Responsible Hiring

Firstly, when choosing a cleaning agency, you should prioritise ethical hiring. Therefore, seek out agencies that treat their cleaners with respect, fairness, and dignity, ensuring they receive the benefits they deserve.

Step 2: Research Ethical Cleaning Companies

Look at independent online reviews such as Trustpilot, Google and Facebook.  At Just Helpers, we take pride in providing our cleaners with a work environment that values their contributions. Our satisfied clients have attested to this, stating:-

“With Just Helpers, you see people who are being given dignity, in the work, during cleaning, and in other people’s homes, where they’re getting a decent wage, they’re getting holiday pay, et cetera, et cetera, all of those things are in place.”

Step 3: Choose Fair Wages

Opt for an agency that offers fair wages to its cleaners. The Living Wage Foundation are an independent charity that annually calculate the base rate for wages.  By doing so, you support an ethical work environment that values hard work and dedication.  We pay all our cleaners (whom we call helpers) the London Living Wage, which is above the minimum wage.

Step 4: Advocate Essential Benefits

Look for an agency that advocates for essential benefits such as holiday pay and sick leave. This ensures that cleaners receive the support they need for a healthy work-life balance.

“We heard about them from one of our previous cleaners, she worked for an agency which was deteriorating and I got the impression not caring for the staff as well as they might be, with the pay mainly, my really good cleaner was moving over to Just Helpers, so I checked it out online and then changed over too.”

Step 5: Transparent Job Descriptions

An ethical cleaning agency provides transparent job descriptions, clearly outlining the duties and expectations for cleaners. This, therefore, fosters, trust and respect between all parties involved.

Step 6: Encourage Open Communication

Effective communication is vital for ethical hiring. So, choose an agency that encourages open dialogue between clients and cleaners, ensuring that everyone’s concerns are heard and addressed.  Ask your agency how they manage that three-way feedback process between you, them and your cleaner.

Step 7: Prioritise Safety

An ethical agency prioritises the safety of its cleaners by providing the necessary equipment and ensuring safe work environments. This commitment to safety, without doubt, underscores the agency’s integrity.

Step 8: Embrace Diversity

Support an agency that embraces diversity and promotes an inclusive work environment. This ensures that all cleaners are treated with respect and fairness, regardless of their background or identity.

Step 9: Make a Difference

Lastly, by choosing an agency that ethically and responsibly hire a cleaner, you contribute to a positive difference in the lives of their cleaning team. It can mean the difference between an individual being able to afford fruit and vegetables verses fast food saver menus.

In summary, cleaning with integrity means choosing an agency that prioritises ethical hiring practices. At Just Helpers, we take pride in providing our cleaners (we call them helpers) with fair wages (we pay well above the Real Living Wage), essential benefits, and a supportive work environment. 

By selecting our services, you contribute to a cleaner world that values respect, fairness, and dignity for all.

Need a hand cleaning your home?

Life in London is demanding and time is at a premium. Get some sparkle back into your life and home with one of our domestic cleaning packages.

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We provide a regular cleaning service for offices and commercial premises in the Greater London area, helping you maintain a professional, healthy and productive work and business environment.

We’d love to chat with you, see your space and walk you through our process.

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