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Nov 20, 2021 | Blog

Commercial Janitorial Service Companies Return to Work Plans

Commercial janitorial service companies help businesses clean their floors and facilities. Each business has a different janitorial service plan for its buildings. Learn more about janitorial service plans here.

If you are a business owner, you understand the importance of having and taking action according to a well-thought plan, especially during these times.

Workplaces are beginning to return to business as usual. Some of the leading sectors that have shown increases in the employment rate include hospitality, education, business services, and retail. 

The absence of social distancing and room capacity restrictions has contributed to a rise in workers in commercial settings.

In Illinois, the workforce is returning to office buildings, retail stores, and most commercial property facility locations. 

The same applies in Florida, as the government complies with the CDC and OSHA COVID-19 protocols for commercial space. 

In Dallas and Texas, the Stay Safe Business Pledge has created cleaning standards for real estate and retail spaces for the Coronavirus.

The Kansas City Star reports that employees have been returning to work ahead of the estimated schedule. Medical facilities have become adept at using disinfectants and green cleaning chemicals that eliminate viruses and bacteria. 

Commercial cleaners have seen a surge in demand for office cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery sanitation, and other janitorial cleaning services.

Cleaning crews from privately-owned professional cleaning services, franchises, and building maintenance service providers have plenty of square feet to sanitize. 

Many commercial janitorial services, small LLC operators, and franchisees will need to hire additional staff to dust, mop, vacuum, etc. 

Cleaning businesses must adopt EPA standards for floor maintenance, proper disinfection of restrooms, and other common areas.

Here is all you need to know about a well-set janitorial business plan, and its positive impact on your business.

Janitorial Business Plans

A commercial cleaning company with a commitment to professionalism must have a janitorial business plan. 

The plan essentially represents a blueprint or written overview that addresses how the business will succeed.  It may explain how much capital is needed for purchasing supplies and equipment or for hiring employees.

The plan should outline how to engage potential customers, such as by offering a free quote. It can also contain a summary of specific service offerings such as washing windows, floors, carpeting, and bathrooms.

A business plan might contain a goal or mission statement such as achieving complete customer satisfaction. 

Other key components of the organization’s plan will likely include: 

  • What will be the hourly rates or prices for specific services?
  • Any details related to offering customers a satisfaction guarantee.
  • A plan describing how the organization intends to differentiate itself from its largest competitors.
  • Will the company be using loans or other sources of financing to begin operations?
  • Any necessary licenses, registrations, or industry certifications.

When looking for a janitorial company, make sure they have a business plan in place. Ask them the above questions about their quotes, licenses, satisfaction guarantee, etc.

Janitor’s Daily Tasks

Cleaning companies that provide services in commercial facilities will generally need to customize their plans and schedules. The needs of a specific facility will change based on the type of business, physical environment, and many other factors. 

For example, the daily cleaning tasks for a large industrial facility differ significantly from a small retail setting.

Some of the common daily tasks generally include trash removal, restroom cleaning and supply restocking, sweeping floors, and vacuuming carpets. 

Removing fingerprints from glass near the main entrance and inspecting the parking areas for any trash are other examples.

Office Cleaning Checklist

Office environments tend to have some common physical characteristics such as lobbies, desks, workstations, breakrooms, and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a new level of importance was placed on office cleaning and disinfection. Many group work environments began changing workday start times to limit the number of individuals sharing space.

The CDC guidelines are also a reminder of the importance of differentiating the process of surface cleaning from disinfecting. 

Cleaning is typically performed using a soap or detergent, which physically reduces the presence of germs and removes dirt or grime. The disinfection process represents a separate or subsequent process for thoroughly eliminating viruses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List N is widely considered the authority on the options for killing harmful germs. Disinfection in an office setting prioritizes “high-touch” surfaces. 

Examples include doorknobs, light switches, stair rails, elevator controls, drinking fountains, and others that see frequent traffic.  

Commercial Cleaning Services Checklist

Did you know that, within hours, a single contaminated doorknob can infect half of your office?

This is why it’s important to always follow a checklist – so all the corners and surfaces are regularly cleaned.

The fundamental purposes of the checklist include identifying the specific tasks, any description or notes, and ensuring the work is completed. 

A checklist is organized or categorized differently based on various influence factors. 

Some examples might include:

  • A checklist for a certain area of the building or department such as the first floor, second floor, building A, lobby, restrooms, etc.
  • Checklists for certain times such as daily, weekly, or weekend task lists.
  • If certain employees are assigned a unique set of tasks, they might be customized for each i.e., Bob, Judy, etc.

What Do Janitorial Companies Do?

Janitorial service providers differ from commercial cleaning firms in that they frequently operate onsite daily.

The janitor tends to perform ongoing daily cleaning tasks that are more general. For example, the janitor may vacuum the carpets each day, while a commercial cleaning company may shampoo the carpets each month.

A commercial cleaning company might be employed as a reinforcement to the janitorial team for specialized special events. 

The tasks performed and the schedule of a janitor will vary based on the specific needs of the commercial facility. Janitors will usually clean and maintain restrooms, breakrooms, floors, dusting, and also handle trash removal daily.

Frequency of Floors

How often should the hard-surface floors in a commercial building be cleaned? 

To accurately address this question, it is critical to understand the different types of cleaning needed for floors. 

The first type is preventative cleaning, which most commonly involves the placement of matting near entryways in the path of those walking inside.

Did you know that an estimated 70 to 80% of unwanted debris is tracked into buildings on the shoes of visitors?

Furthermore, the data suggest that custodial staffs spend nearly 40% of their time cleaning and maintaining floors. This is why matting near entry door areas is critical to floor maintenance.

The mats placed in the entryways are extremely effective in gathering the debris from shoes and absorbing moisture.

Dampness poses a tremendous potential safety concern that can create dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. Regularly removing the materials captured by the floor matting is among the leading preventative measures used in commercial cleaning.

The next category of floor care consists of any tasks performed daily. Daily cleaning tasks typically include either vacuuming or manually sweeping to remove surface materials and mopping the surface. 

The sweeping process physically removes loose material while mopping uses a soap, detergent, and/or disinfectant for assisting with stubborn materials.

In recent years, the industry has become increasingly aware of the problems associated with the traditional “mop and bucket” process. The concern is that each time the mop is resubmerged into the bucket it releases germs. Alternatives include steam mops or those composed of microfiber materials.  

Interim cleaning of floors involves less frequently performed floor care such as buffing or burnishing. Buffing is a process using a rotational machine that can be performed either with a liquid or not (dry buffing).

Burnishing is a very similar process to buffing. However, the goal is specifically to achieve a shiny, polished appearance. Interim floor care is generally performed weekly, monthly, or less frequently depending on the circumstances. Variables include the type of flooring material, amount of traffic, the effectiveness of entryway matting, and more.

Deep cleaning is commonly considered a restorative process such as stripping and refinishing. This involves the removal of a top layer of the material and then a new protective coat is applied. Deep cleaning is the most infrequently performed type of floor care.

Equipment Inspections

Cleaning and janitorial service providers use a variety of tools and equipment for effectively performing their duties. The quality of the tasks performed depends on the used tool’s condition. 

To properly maintain equipment, regular inspections are conducted to assess the condition of the said items.

Equipment inspections are necessary for maintaining quality, but this process also has critical financial implications. 

Failures to inspect and maintain tools and equipment generally reduce their useable life.

In the short term, equipment failures create downtime and result in costly repairs. Over the long term, failures to inspect and maintain result in the high cost of replacement. 

All janitorial plans and checklists should account for regular equipment inspection and maintenance.

In most cases, new equipment is accompanied by a service manual that explains the manufacturer’s recommendations. Equipment might need filters cleaned or replaced, bearings lubricated or replaced, and many other routine services. 

The service manual will usually have a detailed schedule for conducting the necessary maintenance.

Waste Disposal

The majority of business operations generate some forms of waste that must be removed. Accumulations of waste materials may impair a building’s appearance – for example, having overfilled trash cans, piles of boxes from incoming shipments, or breakroom clutter.

Depending on the type of waste involved, safety, and/or environmental concerns exist. Across the U.S., the EPA largely holds responsibility for the proper disposal of waste, and it imposes financial penalties and other sanctions on those who fail to comply.

Commercial cleaning and janitorial service providers will generally handle waste processing and recycling for their clients. This involves non-hazardous materials including packages, food scraps, and glass. Allowing excessive waste to build up, such as food accumulation, could attract pests such as insects, rodents, and others.

Hazardous forms of waste are subjected to governmental regulation. The materials include cleaning agents, paints, oil, batteries, or other elements that are flammable, corrosive, or toxic. These materials pose potential health risks and could contaminate air or water.

Medical facilities often generate biomedical waste that contains bodily fluids and poses infection risks. Some examples include syringes, products used in wound care, surgical waste, and much more. 

Electronic waste derives from phones, computers, and similar devices that contain potentially dangerous substances. It can be fully or partially recycled similar to certain plastics, aluminum, cardboard, and others.

Visibility In Buildings

The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns among facility managers regarding cleaning and disinfection practices. Customers, vendors, tenants, and employees have understandably felt concerns when entering buildings of all kinds. 

For example, the guests of food-service businesses have some basic expectations regarding cleanliness.

Facility managers should recognize that people consciously or unconsciously form perceptions about a business based on the cleanliness of the surroundings. 

Today, most individuals are happy to encounter the presence of busy cleaning professionals working to maintain clean and sanitary conditions. 

Building owners and facilities management experts should take advantage of these possibilities to promote their company.

Day And Night Cleaning

As cleaning and janitorial teams create their plans, schedules, and checklists, they should keep timing in mind. These professionals perform work during the day, in the evening after-hours, on weekends, etc. The timing for performing certain tasks is influenced by the facility’s business hours or the type of work.

What are the benefits associated with cleaning during the overnight hours? 

Cleaning performed overnight won’t disrupt or distract employees. For example, running a noisy vacuum cleaner near the office of a worker that is taking a phone call.

Nighttime cleaning is preferred for preventing accidents, such as slips-and-falls on freshly cleaned floors.

Cleaning during the daytime can help limit utility costs because the work is performed when the lights are already on. The facility manager might notice that daytime cleaning services are more affordable, as premium wages might apply for nighttime workers. 

Having cleaning personnel in the building during the workday will allow for more immediate or real-time responses to spills. When cleaning occurs only after-hours, the facility is more likely to become cluttered and dirty by the afternoon.

Commercial Janitorial Service Companies Return to Work Plans

As large numbers of employees return to their workplace environments, experienced commercial janitorial companies must have a plan. 

Although rising vaccination levels have resulted in significantly declining COVID-19 infection rates, the threat of other illnesses still exists.

Viruses and germs associated with colds and flu are transmitted in many ways. Regularly washing your hands with soap and water is among the fundamental best practices. In the absence of washing stations, the application of hand sanitizer represents an excellent alternative.

Another basic best practice involves avoiding close contact with other people when you experience symptoms that may suggest illness. Occupants must remember the importance of covering sneezes and coughs, preferably with a tissue that is promptly discarded. Objects touched by multiple people should be routinely cleaned and disinfected.

Locations and Types of the Company’s Building

The CDC has continued expanding its recommendations and guidelines for returning to workplace settings. Many of the best practices must be adapted based on the characteristics of the location or type of structure. 

The first step involves making assessments regarding the condition of buildings and the readiness for occupancy.

In the absence of staff, many somewhat minor safety concerns are left unnoticed and often begin exacerbating. For example, plumbing leaks can create a pool of water that increases humidity levels and promotes the growth of mold.

During long periods of vacancies, burrowing pests such as termites or rodents might have moved in and created substantial damage. The building’s ventilation system is another key area to inspect.

The pandemic also served as a reminder of the importance of indoor air quality. A building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a critical component in this area. Settings should be adjusted to promote the circulation of fresh outdoor air and a strong filtering system set-up.

The Number of Workers Needed in Each Location

A commercial janitorial service provider will make assessments regarding the personnel needed for effectively maintaining multiple building locations. 

The majority of these considerations will be included in the initial plan and checklist created by the management. 

The Need for Training

Employees returning to workplaces should receive initial training based on agency guidance on all levels. The transition might also be an excellent time to update many other internal guidelines and workplace policies. 

Training must reflect the unique nature of the individual location and be presented in a clear and concise format that is easily understood.

Employee training sessions regarding workplace health and safety often are most effective when feedback is encouraged and questions are welcomed. 

OSHA’s guide titled “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” is an excellent guiding resource.

The Cleaning Schedule

Among the critical aspects of any workplace cleaning plan is the process of cleaning and disinfecting areas occupied by ill staff members. 

Any work area that was occupied by someone with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours should thoroughly be cleaned and sanitized. 

If more than 24 hours have elapsed, cleaning with a soap or detergent and water is typically sufficient.

Many workplaces now contain tablets, touch screens, and other electronic surfaces that house germs. The screens on electronic devices should be cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Following the instructions ensures that the surface of the device is not damaged during the application process.

How Much Time Each Worker Spends in Each Building

The amount of time that workers spend in businesses with multiple facilities generally will impact operational decision-making. 

In many cases, making these determinations requires detailed documentation. This process reflects how critically important it is to operate in an organized manner.

The Cleanliness of The Building

Maintaining a clean, fresh, and tidy work environment leads to positive results. A prospective client, customer, or employee will form a perception or make assumptions about an organization based on the environment. 

A business with a cluttered and unkempt physical environment might be perceived as disorganized, careless, and unprofessional.

The cleanliness of the property should not only meet but also exceed the expectations of visitors, which generally reflects preconceived notions. 

Individuals entering industrial environments will have very different expectations than those entering a restaurant or hotel regarding cleanliness. Facilities that use a professional janitorial service provider will likely be perceived as having an appealing and welcoming atmosphere.

A clean and tidy environment improves the morale and overall productivity of those working there each day. Clutter tends to hinder worker performance by creating distractions and a disorganized atmosphere. 

When viewed this way, a business might gain a new appreciation for the importance of having the facility professionally cleaned regularly.

Systems and Supplies

As with most trades or businesses, professional janitorial services are well-equipped with the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies. 

Among the primary products used are industrial-quality detergents capable of penetrating surfaces and removing oil, grease, rust, etc. Although these formulas act powerfully against contaminants, they will not erode or compromise most underlying surface materials.

Less-potent “general” detergent products are appropriate for many applications. In today’s green and eco-conscious environment, most of these options are biodegradable and free of harsh chemical agents.

Janitorial companies also use milder solvents, which are appropriate for painted surfaces, plastics, and other materials found in electronic equipment. They are safe for indoor use and are typically applied as a spray and wiped away with a cloth.

Aside from products specifically used for cleaning and disinfection, janitorial companies often deploy systems for improving business operations. More and more janitorial providers use software products and applications for purposes including scheduling, centralizing data, creating reports, tracking expenses, and more. 

Many of these options are web-based and remotely accessible in real-time from anywhere using any device with internet access.

Types of Janitorial Services

Companies operating as full-service or comprehensive commercial janitorial providers generally offer a broad range of options for their clients. 

The full-service company represents a contrast compared to the organizations that specialize in certain services or niches.

HVAC and duct cleaning is an important service for extracting dirt and dust from the system and maintaining good indoor air quality. 

Carpet cleaning refreshes the color and eliminates any stains and musty odors.

Upholstery cleaning services typically involve the removal of dirt and odors from drapes, blinds, and other window coverings. Upholstery services also involve rejuvenating furniture, such as in-office settings. Other specialty services include cleaning and maintaining tile and grout or concrete and stone.

Keep Floors Free of Debris

Sweeping to remove debris from hard-surface floors should be performed regularly and always before mopping. Removing debris from carpeting is typically more important compared to hard-surface floors because of the likelihood of damaging the material. 

When people walk upon carpeting containing debris, the dirt and contaminants erode the fibers and become more entrenched.

Carpets should be vacuumed between two and seven days each week depending on the traffic and amounts of debris. 

The next level of carpet care is often referred to as the deep cleaning process. Deep cleaning is generally recommended at least once each quarter, and more frequently in healthcare and high-traffic settings.

Trash Collection

Collection and removal of trash is not only an aesthetic concern but also involves potential health and safety concerns. 

Employees, tenants, and other visitors will notice if trash cans are overflowing with waste materials. One likely consequence of failing to regularly remove indoor trash is the development of foul odors.

Overflowing trash may cause dirt and food particles to fall on the floor or carpet, which could create slip-and-falls. 

In many cases, overfilled trash receptacles create a potential fire hazard.

A professional cleaning and janitorial company will prioritize the removal of trash, particularly in breakrooms, vending areas, and entryways. 

Any accumulations of dirt and grime within the interior or exterior of the receptacle must also be cleaned and disinfected. 

Another commonly overlooked type of waste removal involves confidential information, such as account numbers, credit card information, or health records. 

Much of the trash that contains confidential or sensitive data is printed on paper documents, which require shredding before disposal. 

Other sources of potentially sensitive data include mobile devices, computers, and other electronic equipment that requires specialized disposal.

Provider of Janitorial Services for Commercial Buildings

The experienced team of professionals with Servi-Tek Facility solutions offers full-service, customized janitorial service solutions for large commercial facilities. 

Since 2006, we have delivered results for more than 200 clients. Our growth and success have been largely the result of a strong commitment to exceeding the expectations of our customers.

We recognize that each commercial environment has different service needs and we are properly trained and equipped for this purpose. 

Our specialists provide carpet and hard-floor cleaning and maintenance, on-site day porter services, anti-viral electrostatic disinfection, and more. 

Contact us today to discuss how we can become a tremendous asset to your facility.

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