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Feb 17, 2022 | Blog

A Detailed Guide To The
Duties Of A Day Porter

For more tips on the duties and a detailed guide of a day porter, we have enumerated the specifics in this article.

A Detailed Guide To The Duties Of A Day Porter

As a facility manager, you are aware now, more than ever, how important cleaning and disinfection are, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And you’re not the only one. Around 75% of large companies are cautiously reopening and emphasizing health and safety.  

One type of worker that facility managers commonly seek is a reliable day porter. They can help your business thrive while keeping you, your staff, and your clients safe. 

Before we explain how exactly, let’s start with the basics:

What Is a Porter?

Unlike a nighttime cleaning crew, a day porter works while the business is operating and monitors and responds in real-time.

Every day porter job description is unique because the role is tailored based on the needs of the facility. What is likely to be consistent is that the porter will keep common areas clean and safe.

A day porter will typically have some basic familiarity with cleaning tasks and may be required to complete minor repairs.

What Do Day Porters Do?

Porters commonly are assigned to service washrooms by cleaning sinks, counters, urinals, and toilets. They may assist in areas where construction work is being performed such as placing signs for areas of wet paint.

Floors and carpets are typically maintained by a day porter, particularly when they are exposed to regular foot traffic. Floors near main entryways are exposed to significant moisture and debris that is brought in by employees, visitors, customers, etc.

Porters will often manage basic maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs, replenishing supplies used in restrooms, or pressure washing. Porters commonly are responsible for performing sets of daily, weekly, or monthly tasks, while tending to other concerns as needed.

Types of Porters

The duties of a day porter may vary according to the workplace setting, environment, or type of business activity. 

For example, here are some of the main duties of a Day Porter Custodian for a school district:

  • Disarms the building’s security system and unlock doors as part of opening the building each day;
  • Cleans designated areas before the occupants arrive, mops floors, and empties trash cans each day;
  • Inspects the restrooms between class changes and stocks supplies as needed;
  • Maintains all floors throughout the day and cleans surface dust each week;

Another example is for an automobile dealership – in this case, the tasks and activities that are specifically geared for a car dealership are more diverse and include:

  • Cleaning the interior and exterior, replenishing fluids, and replacing batteries for new and pre-owned vehicles;
  • Placing buyer guides, inventory and stock tags, and other materials where necessary;
  • Gathering debris or recyclable material by sweeping, shoveling, or vacuuming and placing it in containers;
  • Moving and repositioning vehicles in areas including service lanes, stalls, and the parking lot;

Getting a Job as a Porter

Day porters are expected to remain in good shape and have basic customer service skills. A high school diploma or GED is typically sufficient for this role and a college degree is not required.

Applicants go through background screening, such as for any criminal history that might disqualify a candidate. Checking the applicant’s criminal background is common in these roles where the individual often works without supervision.

Many employers also conduct a credit check, which is done according to the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Applicants also might be asked to provide personal and/or professional references that may be contacted for verification.

A day porter can be hired directly by a business or property management company as an in-house employee. 

but in many cases, day porters are employed by third-party service providers including commercial cleaning or janitorial companies.

What Do You Get Out of Being a Porter?

Different individuals will find certain aspects of being a day porter as gratifying, rewarding, or satisfying. For example, those that take great pride in keeping the environment in a clean and organized state.

Some individuals might find the role to be a preferred alternative to a more stationary desk job. The worker in this role can aspire to higher positions such as operating in a supervisory capacity.

Key Duties of a Day Porter 

In some facilities such as hotels, a day porter may routinely welcome guests or visitors. Here, the individuals working near the entrance might find themselves answering questions, assisting with luggage, and receiving package deliveries.

Day porters are often required to multi-task – for example, cleaning, checking the grounds, communicating with maintenance staff, and responding to problems. 

For these reasons, an effective day porter is often highly organized, operates efficiently, and manages their time well.

Some of the most common duties include:

  • Regularly checking exterior doors that are intended to remain secure;
  • Inspecting exterior areas of the property for any accumulations of trash in parking areas or walkways;
  • Ensuring that all interior and exterior lighting is functional;
  • A day porter might have responsibility for the removal of leaves, snow, or ice from the premises;
  • The individual may assist with the setup or breakdown of seating, tables, displays, and other meetings or events;

Understand the Job Description

A day porter will likely have some type of written general job description or summary of responsibilities. 

As with many roles, the job description serves as a guide or framework that is subject to ongoing changes and priorities.

Understand the Basic Requirements

A day porter will be expected to have some basic skills including the ability to read, communicate, and follow instructions. Most of these jobs will involve some type of orientation process and formal or informal training to become acclimated.  

Applicants that have prior work experience, particularly in related roles such as cleaning or maintenance, are generally in demand. 

Although not necessarily a requirement, a day porter may benefit from knowing certain types of tools or equipment. Examples might include carpet cleaning and extracting tools, hand tools, and many others.  

What to Wear?

Many of those operating in roles as a custodian, day porter, or janitors wear some type of uniform. A uniform identifies the individual as someone on duty and may have the company’s logo and name on the attire. Protective gear will be used when handling chemicals or sharp objects.

A day porter is likely to wear clothing that is good-fitting and comfortable that is seasonally appropriate. Wearing durable and slip-resistant shoes or boots is generally encouraged.

What Do You Need to Know?

A day porter should become familiar with the building that they will operate in. Part of this may begin in orientation, where someone provides a tour, summarizes the activities, and answers any questions.  

In terms of cleaning, the porter should become familiar with the cleaning agents, equipment, and other tools they will use. Among the highest priorities of any new day porter’s training is instruction regarding safety.

What Is Involved in the Daily Tasks?

Daily tasks include sweeping floors, mopping floors, wiping down counters and other high-touch areas, and cleaning restrooms. 

Having the daily tasks summarized in writing also makes it easier for someone that covers for an absence. The assignments are often organized by building, department, or floor for greater simplicity.

Daily tasks may also involve special cleaning requirements, such as electrostatic disinfection. This is a superior way of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects which requires specialized equipment for spraying electrostatically charged cleaning solutions. The fine mist envelops the object and removes all dust, dirt, and germs.

The requirements to Carry Out the Tasks

A day porter must generally meet some basic physical requirements to complete the job functions. Examples include the ability to walk for extended periods, be capable of lifting supplies and equipment, and have good vision.

A day porter is likely to encounter visitors, employees, customers, and other building entrants and should have a positive demeanor. 

While most day porters work during traditional business hours, this does not mean they will work exclusively the first shift.

For example, many manufacturing or production settings operate 12 to 24 hours each day and may have multiple shifts. A day porter working for a property manager or retailer might also work during the evenings or weekends.

Porter Characteristics

When we refer to the porter’s characteristics, we are typically implying the likely traits, quality, skills, or attributes expected.

Here’s what you should look for:

Physically Fit

The physical demands placed on a day porter may vary; however, some basics will likely apply. A day porter will likely need to sometimes lift objects that exceed 20 pounds.

In addition to lifting, a porter will be required to push or pull objects or equipment, which could involve stairs, and will also need to have the strength and agility needed for kneeling, bending, and stooping.

Friendly

A day porter will interact with others to some extent and should have a positive demeanor and temperament. 

Porters should manage stress well because the individual may be called upon to respond to unforeseen problems, difficult clients, or hazardous conditions.

Efficient

A day porter will typically have responsibility for completing a variety of tasks throughout multiple rooms, departments, or buildings. For these reasons, a day porter should operate efficiently to get all this work completed.

The position is best suited for someone with a strong work ethic that has reasonably strong organizational skills.

When unforeseen problems occur, a day porter will transition from other tasks to address the concern. Here, efficiency is important because they will be counted on for resuming and completing the prior tasks.

Respect

As expected of workers in most roles, day porters must be committed to treating others with respect, as they often interact with the customers of a business, and need to act professionally.

Working Conditions 

A day porter functions within various potential commercial building environments including office buildings with dozens or hundreds of employee occupants. Others may operate in busy retail settings with a continuous flow of customer foot traffic.

Industrial or warehouse environments may have conditions that involve heavy equipment operation and shipping and receiving activity. These types of settings may have higher levels of noise, heat, and other potentially harsh conditions.

A day porter can work in exterior parking lots, walkways, and other outdoor areas and may encounter varying weather conditions. In response, the porter may need to be prepared with additional clothing and footwear as appropriate.

Job Hazards

A day porter must operate according to safety guidelines to protect themselves and other facility stakeholders. 

Occupational safety concerns exist to varying degrees in most workplace settings that may be physical, chemical, biological, or ergonomic.

Day porters often have the responsibility for ensuring the floors, particularly in high-traffic areas, are free of all debris and hazards. In today’s environment, an accident such as a slip-and-fall can have serious ramifications that include financial liability.

A day porter can be assigned to check certain safety and security systems such as fire extinguishers and access control. 

The chemicals that day porters use for cleaning could have harmful reactions if accidentally exposed to others, therefore trained and licensed professionals are needed.

Earning Potential

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that janitors and building cleaners have a median hourly wage of $13.98 and should expect a 6% annual job growth.

It is important to recognize that the BLS data is generalized and not specific to the day porter role. According to PayScale.com, which operates in the realm of employee compensation, a day porter’s hourly pay ranges from $9 to $15.

PayScale’s data suggests that a day porter earns an average hourly base rate of $10.76.  The annual day porter salary will be in the range of $22,000.

Training

The initial training process will often have a written summary or checklist that outlines the aspects of training. 

A day porter will need to be familiarized with the different cleaning supplies, tools, and any equipment they will operate. For instance, they should be trained in advanced cleaning methods, such as electrostatic cleaning and disinfection. 

Licenses and Certifications

The vast majority of positions including and similar to a day porter have no licensing requirements or advanced educational requirements. Some of the unique qualifications are related to health and security, particularly for those operating in medical or government facilities.

In rare instances, an agency may require training in First Aid or CPR Certification. 

However, an increasing number of facility managers are looking for day porter services that are GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) certified. This is the cleaning industry’s only accreditation for outbreak response, prevention, and recovery.

Experienced Provider of Day Porter Services for Commercial Facilities

Servi-Tek Facility Solutions provide interactive, on-site assistance that ensures the business environment remains clean, sanitary, and safe. Our day porter services are specifically customized based on the needs of our clients.  

Having a day porter offers rapid response to spills or other calamities, availability for special requests, and improved safety. 

These services are an excellent complement to nighttime janitorial activities including carpet cleaning, anti-viral electrostatic disinfection, and much more.

We look forward to discussing the possibilities of working with your organization and encourage you to contact us.

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