The Invisibility of the Cleaning Industry

Cleaning has always been an invisible industry, cleaners often leave before people arrive to work or arrive after everyone leaves.

People see the effects of cleaning but take it for granted as the cleaners return the office to normal at the end of the day.

With the introduction of COVID, cleaners were identified as critical workers, which you think would have shined a light on the industry, but according to an article by Karin Sardadvar the invisibility of cleaning has remained. Despite being very important to maintaining health and safety for a lot of people, cleaners weren’t given the accolades that a lot of other critical workers were. 

This issue is also two-fold as cleaning is also an industry that has a large employment of marginalised groups, including women, minorities and immigrants. This issue of invisibility intersects strongly with inequality including low-wages, being taken for granted, and with some of the practices in the cleaning industry, being taken advantage of.

To tackle this we need to shed some more light on the amazing work cleaners do and celebrate them for the incredibly hard workers they are!

CMOS wants to shed more of a light on our awesome cleaners, so we encourage our clients to get to know their cleaners, run a cleaner of the month and advocate for Thank your Cleaner Days, a day that addresses the invisibility of the cleaning profession.

Cleaners are some of the hardest working people, and we aim to make things better for cleaners in New Zealand by reshaping the industry. Because happy cleaners who are visible and thanked for their hard work can take greater pride in their roles, and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that cleaning is so important to maintaining our collective health.

If you want to help push the cleaning industry into the light, get to know your cleaners, celebrate Thank your Cleaner Day, and ask your cleaner questions about how they are supported by their company and take that into account when you hire a cleaning service!

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