The single most important item in getting great cleaning is the actual cleaning specifications. Even if you have the most simple of work environments with little room for interpretation, trust me if there is room for interpretation there will be…
Say you have a standard office environment with 40 workspaces including offices and cubicles. If you specify you need the office garbage cans emptied and workspaces cleaned, you are not specific enough.
By not listing exactly what you want your outcomes to be you are leaving it to the interpretation of a night cleaner who really has no clue what your employees needs are. The cleaner may consider emptying garbage cans and dusting the top of a computer screen/monitor as cleaning an office.
Give Your Office Commercial Cleaning Company Specific Requirements
Start by visually surveying your office at the end of the day
- How many desks are clear of paperwork?
- How many desks have work left on them?
Now determine how each case should be handled. If a desk is clear of paperwork and other personal and work items, it is easy enough to specify that the desk should be properly cleaned and sanitized. However in many cases even that is not clearly spelled out.
Desk cleaning specifications
A poorly written specification might read: “clean desks”. Well if the cleaner is using the same cloth for all 40 workstations or just using a damp cloth instead of a proper cleaning solution you will have issues with the spreading of infection and germs.
A better specification may read: clean clear desks with a proper disinfectant solution taking care to follow methods that insure the prevention of cross contamination from other surfaces.
In a case where you have 40 workstations you would need at least 5 proper cleaning cloths If you do not have any unusually dirty surfaces the cleaner will be able to perfectly use up 8 sides of the cloth by folding them in quarters and rotating the cloth to the clean unused sides as they progress through the cleaning.
However, often times when I tour facilities I see a janitor closet that has a few rags hanging to dry in the closet. This is a clear signal that they are hand rinsing and reusing the same cloths without properly cleaning them. This becomes a huge issue when the goal is to be removing dirt and soils as opposed to just redistributing the dirt throughout the building again and again.
Garbage Removal Specifications
Another key area to survey at the end of the day is the garbage bins.
- If they are overflowing then more frequent service may be necessary.
- If you are already using daily or 5 day a week service then investing in larger garbage cans may be in order.
The time to empty garbage bins can take up a large portion of the budgeted cleaning time. I have seen garbage removal take up the lions share of cleaning time when the frequencies of service are not adequate.
It should take 1-2 minutes to remove garbage and replace a liner. You need to budget more like 3 minutes though if the garbage is overflowing or the fact that there is a lot of garbage causes additional messes to clean in the process of removing.
Add the walking time to the garbage bin; since in most cases building will not have large rolling bins to store garbage as the cleaners empty them. In this case you really do not want the bags of garbage to be left sitting on floors or carpets.
The exact garbage removal process that you want your cleaner to follow is something that needs to be specified. If you do not specify the garbage removal process, then it is possible that less care will be taken with the garbage removal and instead of removing dirt, the cleaners will redistribute it to your floors.
So on the low end, in a 40-workspace office, garbage removal should take 40 minutes. On the high end it can take 2 hours.
So when determining what your ideal office cleaning specifications are you should:
- Take a walk around your office at the end of the day to look for the visual clues as to what your specific cleaning needs are.
- Seek to leave little room for interpretation, be very clear what you want your outcomes to be.
Saying “clean this” is not enough if you are looking to have a successful relationship with your night cleaners for a long time to come.