One potentially overlooked aspect of owning or managing a large commercial facility is the importance of maintaining a clean environment.
Facility and property managers face a wide variety of challenges that may directly influence organizational success and reaching key business objectives.
This role might be described as a critical link between the physical workplace and those who enter it.
Often a particular emphasis is placed on the employees who spend the largest amount of time in a workplace environment.
Prudent real estate administrators also will consider others including existing customers, prospective clients, potential employees, vendors, and other entrants.
The way that these and other visitors perceive the facility will influence their outlook and opinion about your overall operation.
As busy facility and property managers tend to matters involving space planning, budgeting, emergency plans, and safety compliance, they might overlook cleaning.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has reminded and reinforced how critically important it is for workplace cleaning, disinfection, and sanitization.
Before COVID, the annual U.S. commercial cleaning and maintenance service market was roughly $117 billion and is poised to rise.
In addition to commercial office buildings, retail centers, and industrial projects, the following industries or sectors of the economy are most likely to need commercial cleaning services:
- Government: The federal, state, and local governments now employ more than 20 million people in the U.S. Many of these individuals report to work each day in large workplace environments.
- Healthcare: Nearly 18% of overall spending is now directed to medically-related goods and services. Healthcare facilities must be among the most diligent in maintaining sterile environments that create a need for commercial cleaning services.
- Food Production and Service: Regular cleaning and disinfection are critical in workplaces involved in the production of anything intended for human consumption.
- Education: Schools of all levels have potentially significant needs for daily cleaning, janitorial, and maintenance services.
Why Cleaning Is Important
Those who enter a commercial environment will form impressions based on many factors.
For example, environments affect the senses such as the way a setting appears, smells, etc.
If the premises are cluttered or unsanitary, it can generate negative perceptions of the property, along with its ownership and management.
Another excellent reason for maintaining clean and organized surroundings involves worker morale and increased overall productivity.
Studies have suggested that a clean operating environment enhances the mood and spirit of those working and improves their focus.
These benefits can translate to better results in worker performance, improve employee retention rates, and a more positive atmosphere.
This includes enhancing tenant relations in income-productions properties.
When commercial facility and property managers commit to having professional cleaning services, they should expect higher quality results.
Commercial cleaning companies have the capability of providing a vast range of services because of their tools, equipment, and expertise.
This will better ensure that your individual facility will be “deeply cleaned” and have a noticeably nicer appearance.
A misconception exists that outsourcing your cleaning services to professionals is a more costly option among other alternatives.
This is a commonly disproven belief or assumption when the calculations are made by including all of the factors.
For example, enhanced cleaning measures can potentially reduce worker sick days and allow staff to be more focused and productive.
Failing to maintain a clean, coordinated, and inviting facility may also discourage those who enter the building.
For example, customers entering a large supermarket will likely hesitate to return after noticing dirty floors, unpleasant odors, etc.
How Often Should My Facility or Property be Cleaned?
Managers of large commercial facilities and properties face decisions regarding how frequently to have the premises cleaned by a professional service.
There is no single best answer that applies to all kinds of businesses and commercial settings.
Rather, this determination is best made after considering a host of factors that are specific to your unique situation.
One key consideration is the type of business and nature of the activities that occur during the typical workday.
For example, those operating in a medical environment may have much more stringent hygienic requirements compared to other types.
In this example, cleaning operations may be best conducted continuously at intervals throughout each day of operation.
One factor that is of critical importance is the number of people coming and going.
Workplaces operating two or three shifts will have a greater need for more frequent cleaning compared to a single shift.
Generally, the minimum frequency that is appropriate for properly cleaning any commercial environment is weekly whereas cleaning is very often performed daily.
In many cases, it may be suitable to clean certain areas of the property at different intervals.
For example, businesses with a public restroom that is being used constantly will require multiple cleaning services each day.
Managers are encouraged to spend several days assessing the conditions of different areas throughout a regular working day.
There could also be seasonal differences that influence these decisions in some organizations.
Perhaps the business is located in a region with a particularly rainy season or has extreme winter weather?
Safety concerns might require more frequent floor care in lobbies and entryways where more moisture is being tracked inside.
Consider using a commercial cleaning company as a resource for making these types of decisions.
They likely have past experience in determining how often to clean specific areas of the facility.
Regardless, your initial plan could always be modified as you begin to notice increases or decreases in cleaning needs.
What Is Commercial Cleaning?
Companies operating in the commercial cleaning industry are classified among those who provide business-to-business services.
They operate similarly to providers of contract office furniture, business telecom or IT vendors, or workforce staffing agencies.
Commercial cleaning companies are differentiated from residential providers that market cleaning services to individual consumers.
The scope of work performed commonly includes floor and carpet vacuuming, trash removal, window cleaning, sanitizing bathrooms, and restocking supplies.
Commercial cleaning services may be performed during the workday or after business hours.
These businesses exist from small two or three cleaning teams to large outfits that employ hundreds of staff in each market they serve.
Commercial cleaning providers are professionals that will invest in the tools, training, and equipment necessary to offer a variety of services.
Specialized full-service offerings include carpet cleaning, power washing, electrostatic disinfection, and stripping and waxing of hard floors.
In most cases, these services involve establishing a written agreement or contract that outlines the specifications, pricing, and other provisions.
Businesses of all sizes that have a physical location will have some degree of need for cleaning and maintenance.
Organizations have a variety of different options for having these tasks completed.
For example, a company may decide to hire an employee or group of employees specifically for this purpose.
Some companies will require that each employee assumes individual responsibility for cleaning their designated workspace or department.
Others may choose to have their employees alternate or rotate cleaning responsibilities on a weekly or monthly basis.
Some hybrid models could be used that assign an existing employee with other responsibilities to also handle cleaning the facility.
Benefits of Commercial Cleaning Services
Most successful property and facility management professionals recognize the direct benefits of commercial cleaning services.
The specific advantages that each derives may vary such as efficiency, safety, cost savings, compliance issues, and many more.
In most cases, organizations will recognize a combination of advantages when choosing to have their facilities professionally cleaned by commercial cleaning experts.
One commonly cited reason why managers and administrators choose to contract with a commercial cleaning company involves productivity.
Many of these individuals find that maintaining an organized and properly cleaned environment positions their employees for success.
A cluttered workplace environment potentially reduces the ability to concentrate, increases stress levels, and limits levels of motivation.
Increased Employee Productivity
Workers generally will experience a boost in productivity when the surroundings are clean and properly organized.
Each day, an individual could waste several minutes of time digging through the clutter in search of documents, tools, etc. Over the course of weeks and months, these few moments of lost time can add up significantly.
Researchers at the Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University conducted testing that indicated how disorganization can consume valuable cognitive resources.
Organizations can assume that maintaining an orderly workplace and building can result in much better results for a business.
Employees operating in a clean, fresh-smelling, and well-maintained setting will be in a better mood.
After all, these individuals generally want to take pride in the appearance of their workplace.
Happier workers are more likely to refer potential clients to the organization or assist in recruiting high-quality prospective employees.
Long-Term Cost Savings
In business, time is directly correlated to money and this is one reason for using commercial cleaning services.
Many property managers have found that contracting with a professional cleaning company was more cost-effective compared to using in-house staff.
This savings is often most apparent when factoring in the total costs of recruitment and, inevitably, when turnover occurs.
Aside from mere wages, a worker will generate payroll taxes and need proper training and ongoing supervision.
The organization will require a backup plan when employees call off from work, which creates further untimely challenges.
Companies that contract with a professional cleaning company realize the benefit of the contractor’s purchasing power for supplies and equipment, which can be sizable.
Aside from merely the costs associated with purchasing these supplies, the effort is required for maintaining proper inventory stock.
Another cost-related concern that has surfaced from the COVID-19 pandemic involves personal protective equipment (PPE).
A professional cleaning company will be properly equipped with these items including masks, gloves, eye protection, and others.
A Safe Environment
Routine cleaning and disinfection practices can result in fewer sick days among members of your staff or tenants.
How much productivity would you expect from an employee that is home in bed with an illness?
Those with sensitivities to dust or problems with allergies might experience discomfort throughout the workday and be less productive.
A professional cleaning company has a firm understanding of the proper cleaning agents and chemicals to utilize for each type of property.
In addition to safe usage protocols, safe storage practices are employed.
Failures in regular cleaning and maintenance may increase the likelihood of accidents that occur to workers, customers, or other visitors.
For example, improper floor care may create an unfortunate slip-and-fall incident.
These situations also might generate financial consequences involving worker’s compensation costs, work absences, or potential civil liability claims.
Best Techniques and Procedures
An experienced commercial cleaning company recognizes the best products for effectively cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing different surfaces and materials.
The professionals have the knowledge and experience needed to determine the best option for efficiency, effectiveness, and value.
For example, strict procedures for avoiding cross-contamination while cleaning restrooms must be adhered to on an ongoing basis.
A structured plan for performing periodic dusting throughout a large facility or property will ensure all areas are properly addressed.
Another key feature of commercial cleaning companies is how they set up their staffing to perform services.
It is not efficient for a single employee to vacuum, empty trash, and dust large assigned areas by themselves.
Rather, significantly improved performance results from segmenting each major task by having staff perform focused duties for which they are specifically hired and trained.
Why Commercial Cleaning is Important for the Health of Your Building
Clean, properly disinfected offices can help reduce the potential spread of viruses and other pathogens when the proper practices are consistently performed.
Professional cleaning providers understand the importance of using the latest commercial-quality products for this purpose, along with the required scopes of work.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been revising their guidelines and proper compliance is critical.
Common types of surfaces that are highly touched include elevator buttons, door handles, light switches, and access control devices.
A commercial cleaning expert can also assist you with identifying less obvious high-touch surfaces that exist on site.
These are locations that should be frequently cleaned and safely disinfected to avoid the likely spread of the pathogen
Mold development is another serious potential problem that can be an indoor air quality concern in commercial environments.
Many people mistakenly associate mold growth as exclusively occurring in bathroom areas or others with significant water use.
Mold and bacteria develop on many different interior surfaces and building materials used in construction when sufficient moisture exists.
What to Expect From a Commercial Cleaning Service
We entering an agreement with a professional provider of cleaning or janitorial services your expectations should be high.
The level of quality should meet or exceed these expectations by demonstrating a focus on an excellent performance of work.
Attention to detail might include leaving no signs of dust in tight or hard-to-reach places and using the latest equipment.
How is the quality of the work being performed being evaluated?
A professional cleaning team should have both internal measures of evaluation and a way of reporting to you—the customer.
These benchmarks or standards are commonly discussed during your initial meeting and later updated as goals or needs change.
Does the organization offer you options for accommodating transitions among tenants, new office space, and renovation or construction projects?
Is the company committed to environmentally sound practices such as using eco-friendly cleaning agents and making efforts to conserve water?
You should expect that the lines of communication remain open and allow for some flexibility as changes occur.
A high-quality commercial cleaning company should offer an array of specialty services that are important but are performed less frequently.
Examples include 24-hour emergency response, sealing of tiled floors, post-event cleanup, upholstery cleaning, and more.
During your initial consultation with a provider, the options and the capabilities of completing them should be addressed.
You should have expectations of reliability such as defining a schedule of tasks that are always adhered to.
The quality of the work should be consistently performed according to the plan, a defined scope of work.
The decision to partner with a professional company to clean your facility or property should be based on your specific requirements, goals, and budget.
The company you choose should have the experience and capabilities of handling these tasks, as well as make proactive recommendations.
When considering a transition to using a commercial cleaning company the scope of work must be defined in writing.
The nature of the physical environment differs considerably such as from a hospital, large office building, or manufacturing facility.
Certain areas are typically included such as conference and training rooms, breakroom areas, and full office cleaning services.
The scope of work, which should also specify the frequency of tasks, should provide sufficient detail to ensure the work is performed as desired and in a quality manner.
For example, rather than indicating restroom floors should be kept clean, damp mopping with an approved germicidal cleaning shall be performed is much more effective.
Choosing The Right Commercial Cleaning Services Near Me
There are a variety of different ways to begin your search for a professional cleaning company in your area. In today’s digital landscape, using the internet to search for local providers is a common initial step.
Most of the companies in your area will likely have a web presence and some customer feedback to review.
You should consider asking potential cleaning companies for references from other commercial clients in your area.
It is critical that you choose an organization that is established and has a track record of integrity and success.
A viable commercial cleaning company will be properly insured, always be eager to provide a written proposal, and eager to execute a written agreement.
You should determine whether the prospective company has experience working in your industry.
For example, long-term care facilities, hotels or hospitality, and food-service businesses all have different layouts and needs.
For very large commercial facilities and properties, it is important to assess whether the organization is prepared (capable) of successfully handling the work.
Consider The Size Of The Facility
If you have a massive commercial building comprised of hundreds of thousands of square feet a cleaning provider must be vetted.
An organization with a staff of three people is unlikely to provide high-quality service to you and its other clients.
In a larger facility, the commercial cleaning company will need to fund start-up costs, including expensive equipment, necessary to maximize operational effectiveness.
Consider the Cleaning Products the Company Uses
In commercial environments, the occupants have exposure to potentially harmful compounds from detergents, bleach, and other scrubbing and cleaning agents.
In recent years, considerable efforts have been made to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When released into the air, VOCs may irritate people’s eyes and throat.
Many of the available products in the commercial cleaning market today have satisfied EPA recommendations for safety.
Property and facility managers are encouraged to ask potential commercial cleaning providers if they use these environmentally-friendly options.
Significantly, since the advent of COVID-19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list, called List N, of products that will kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when used according to the label directions.
Experienced cleaning providers ensure their core disinfectant product is on List N.
Perform Checks on the Commercial Cleaning Services Company
What are some of the best practices to consider before choosing a cleaning provider?
Ask them for any referrals that can attest to their good reputation. Does the organization appear both professional and committed to safety?
Are they properly insured and have the latest equipment for getting the job done?
Facility and property managers should be prepared with a plan or outline when meeting with these companies.
While obtaining quotes, remember that decisions based exclusively on price might not equate to the best cleaning services.
Look for companies willing to provide transparent service, effective management oversight, and a partnership relationship with their clients.
The Best in Class Provider of Commercial Cleaning Services
The team of seasoned professional experts at Servi-Tek Facility Solutions provide services in Hawaii, Arizona, and Southern California.
We develop fully customized facility solutions for commercial clients that meet and exceed expectations.
We perform full-service commercial cleaning, maintenance, and engineering services for a wide array of industry clientele.
Our organization is committed to using the latest technology, including our proprietary Servi-Trak software, which includes work order and self-inspection modules.
We look forward to speaking with you and encourage you to contact our office today.