Day Time Cleaning is gaining ground for several very good reasons, not the least of which is energy savings, which is helping organizations meet their energy objectives for envrironmental stewardship and sustainability.
There are other good reasons to implement day time janitorial service, but there are some important considerations and it takes support at the hightest levels. I have been involved in day cleaning both as a facility manager and as a janitorial supplier. For corporate facilities in particular, I believe it is a good way to go.
It’s important that you implement it carefully, otherwise it will give you nothing but headaches.
Here are the benefits I observed:
- Facility Occupants actually saw work getting done, rather than wondering if it was being done. This often resulted in fewer complaints.
- Since the work is more visible, the work gets done.
- Energy savings by not having the building lit at night for the cleaning staff.
- Security improvements since they weren’t working at night in a virtually empty building.
- Janitorial staff and management were able to adapt routines and activity to meet the building usage.
- Staff were generally higher quality (often slightly better paid) and more likely to communicate better with the occupants.
- You can get better results in high traffic areas like the lobby and washrooms, since you now have the full contingent of janitorial staff during the day, not just the day porter.
Here are some problems that need to be managed carefully:
- For janitorial staff, working in the evening was often a second job for staff or they worked around a spouse with a day job to take care of family – it was slightly harder to get staff for the day shift and you may need to pay more, but this is offset by other things.
- If not managed well, the janitorial staff can get sidetracked by occupant requests and have a hard time completing their tasks (sort of like the stock boy at the supermarket who is always interrupted to help customers find products).
- A flexible system is needed for things like enclosed office cleaning. If the occupant of the office is on the phone or waves the cleaner away so the work isn’t done, they need to know what to do.
- Some occupants will be not like having janitorial staff work around them.
- The noise from some cleaning activities can be unacceptable for some occupants.
Things you need to do for successful implementation:
- Communicate, communicate, communicate to your occupants before you make the change.
- Don’t just take the evening routines and do them during the day. You need to adapt and change them to fit a new way of working. Otherwise, you will fail.
- Consider equipment that will work during daytime hours. Low noise vacumes are a must, possibly backpack or battery powered, such as battery powered wide area vacumes/sweepers for for hallways, etc. Just like the routines, don’t simply use the equipment from the night shift and use it during the day.
- Some things (carpet cleaning, hard floor surfaces and other major periodic work, for instance) will still need to be done in the evening or weekend.
- Integrate it with changes to your waste/recycling program to minimize disruption to occupants and reduce problems of wet waste staying around too long.
- Learn from experience – there are many tricks and techniques that work, many that don’t, some that have to be changed to meet your needs.
In one case, we implemented day cleaning for a major insurance company who had been doing day cleaning in many other buildings. They had their own specifications, schedules and routines, and we followed them – in the beginning. It quickly became obvious that some routines weren’t working and had to be adapted to the specific building/occupant needs, so we tweaked until it worked.
Like all things, there isn’t really a cookie cutter approach. Certainly the ingredients are the same, the principles are similar, but your specific situation probably nees some tweaking of the recipie to get the results you need.