Did you ever hear "Don't be that guy?" If your the boss, then read on because you most definitely want to be THIS guy:
The guy who hired a professional cleaning service so...
* He can go home at a decent hour without having to first clean the toilets and empty trash.
* His employees whom he hired for their talents can do the same.
* He can look like a hero to them.
* His employees can work efficiently without sneezing all day because of all the dust everywhere.
* There are less sick days because of all the other nasty stuff lurking about.
* When anyone comes to visit the office he's not embarrassed by the dirty floors.
* When his vacuum breaks he doesn't have to worry about it because we supply all that stuff.
* That everyone working there can just be happier in general.
There's much more, but you get the idea.
What about all those little things?
As the months go by, if all the little things are ignored, they eventually become noticeable. If these are never addressed, even though you have a regular cleaning service, they become a blight, albeit a slight one, on the overall appearance of your commercial facility. What are these things? Here are some of them:
1. Hard surface floor corners.
It’s unreasonable to ask your cleaning people to detail clean the corners on hard surface floors every time they are in to clean. But if these areas are not cleaned out every few months or so a dark formation of dirt will begin to appear. This can be cleaned out very easily with a wet paper towel and should be done by your cleaning people before it becomes too noticeable. Paradoxically, the more frequent the floor is swept, the faster these buildups occur.
2. Carpeted floor corners and edges.
This problem is very similar to the above. Except the solution is a vacuum with a wand attachment that would focus the suction on these areas. Again, this needn’t be done all the time, just when it becomes apparent.
Unlike the above two examples, which should be automatically expected, the following areas should be mentioned during the bidding process since they may be considered by some to be options. Or just as the cleaning company if this is something they can clean for you on an as-needed basis.
3. Bathroom vents.
If not dusted regularly, usually monthly, these areas will accumulate a large amount of dust. This is not only unsightly, but will actually prevent the fan from doing its job. If totally ignored, the dust can completely obstruct the air from flowing through the vent. Fortunately, a simple feather duster treatment with the fan on will fix it right up.
4. Other ceiling vents.
These operate in the opposite direction of the bathroom vents. These are the vents that supply cool or warm air into your office. Usually, but not always, these tend to have dust accumulate around the edges of the vents. This phenomenon does not interfere with the operation of the vent, so not as crucial. Also, the ceilings are usually white, so any accumulation is less noticeable, if at all. This is almost never mentioned in janitorial proposals, but if a request is made to the janitorial company to service these vents, it can be done for a small extra fee.
Since there are very many styles of baseboards, the problems with them are just as varied. Some of the issues cannot be addressed, such as scratches and scuff marks. Most of these cannot be removed without damaging the baseboard itself. But for some fancier baseboards, dust accumulation on the flat surfaces becomes an issue over time. A simple broom will remove that.
There are more examples, but to sum up, the little things are important, but not on a daily or even weekly basis. But by being aware of them and cleaning them occasionally, they won’t become an issue. You may not even actively notice these things, but if not cleaned every now and then, something around your office will seem “not quite right”.
Many do, many do not. By following these tips, you may find that keeping your facility clean and neat is easier than you thought. Also, if you do need an outside cleaning company, following these tips may get you a lower price for the cleaning tasks you do hire out.
1. Managing Clutter
We’re not necessarily talking about people’s desks here. Most workers have a good handle on how they manage the stuff on their own desks. What may look like clutter to some, may be “organized chaos” to another. If an employee gets their work done efficiently but their desk is a mess, leave them alone. They know what they are doing. Spaces that must be clutter-free, however, include lobbies, reception areas, restrooms, and document filing areas. One strategy is to digitalize as many documents as possible. Electronic documents do not take up physical space. Our good friends at Axis Business Technologies can help you with that. If, however, your office is dependent on paper, then you should have an efficient system for properly storing them.
2. Clean computers and office machines
A simple feather duster can keep most computer screens and other office equipment looking fresh, especially if they are black in color. The particular environment of your office will determine how often this needs to be done, but if you see dust, give it a swipe with the feather duster. Be sure to get one with ostrich feathers. All others are worthless. Computer screens usually need to be wiped down since they get touched with pointing fingers all day. Use a good screen cleaning system from a tech store.
3. Garbage bins, and lunch at the desk
Most office trash cans do not contain anything with offensive odors. But for those who must eat at their desks (not recommended, desks are filthy), it’s smart that lunch waste be taken to a bin in the breakroom for disposal. Otherwise, this trash will begin to smell even after one day. And if you don’t have a daily janitorial service provider, this stuff will fester.
Getting your employees to handle these things on their own may seem like an impossible task, especially in the common areas and break rooms (and we haven’t even mentioned restrooms). That’s why we’re here. But by handling simple tasks on your own, if you do need to hire us for janitorial services, you can get a lower price for what can’t reasonably be done on your own. Also, check out these ideas before you call us to make sure you don’t spend more than you have to.
Let’s face it; office floors can take a beating.
Perhaps your office space has carpet that could use a commercial carpet cleaning service, or floors that show scuff marks everywhere, and are dull that could use a good strip and wax. Whatever the case, a clean office floor contributes heavily to the overall look of your office environment.
Here’s a handy tip from “How to Clean Stuff” (www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-remove-scuff-marks-from-flooring/) that may help clean up your office floors, and perhaps an idea to use in your home as well:
Use a tennis ball to remove scuff marks from VCT floors. How to: take a plain tennis ball and carefully cut a small “x” into the top. To avoid injury, do not hold the ball in your hand as you cut it, but rather place it on a firm surface or use a vise grip. Once cut, insert the top of a broom handle into the “x” and using the tennis ball end of the broom rub the scuff marks out of the floor.
But, what if the stain on your office floor is something worse, say, black tar from the parking lot or street? If it's a VCT floor, first try a painter's scraping razor to get the most of it up. An adhesive remover may be tried to get the rest, but beware, it may dull the finish. Try that first on a section of floor hidden from plain view and if it doesn't dull, then go ahead and use it on the stain. Tar on stone flooring is a piece of cake to clean up. I recommend using Goof Off (http://www.goofoffproducts.com/find-a-retailer). Just a bit of that with a paper towel and the tar is gone!
So you need janitorial services at your commercial property. Here's how it usually goes: Get three bids, and choose the least expensive one. But those of you who've been through this process before, you know that's not always the best route to take. But what else should be considered before making a choice?
1. Ask about what equipment and supplies will be used during the cleaning process. Cheap vacuums don't do the job more expensive ones do. Hidden costs here could be lost time due to respiratory illnesses among your employees because cheap vacuums do not do a good job of removing contaminents from the carpet, and the cheap filters spew the rest into the air.
2. Good quality cleaning chemicals can keep your employee's illnesses down too. Don't be afraid to ask for literature on the chemicals to be used, especially for restrooms. We use Clorox Clean-up, which is awesome, for most surfaces.
3. Unfortunately, the use of undocumented workers is rampant in our industry. You do not want to be a participant in this illegal activity. Some janitorial service providers use this tactic in order to get lots of jobs through low-ball price bidding. Ask!
While totally understandable, and usually prudent, to seek out the lowest price, beware of the "too low" price. If you encounter a bid that is far lower than the others you receive, consider that a red flag and inquire further. Look at the companies that submitted the higher bids and check their references and BBB pages.
How much you end up paying for janitorial services depends a lot on you. When gathering estimates, be sure you know what you want done, and how often. A very common mistake is to tell one office cleaning company one set of tasks to be done, and a different company a different set. Although these differences may be minor, by doing this you risk of getting several bids that, while similar, may not give you the best value for your dollar in the end. So how are you supposed to know what to ask for? The following rundown of common tasks ranked by their impact on your bottom line will provide a helpful guide.
1. How often do you need service?
Answering this one question will have the most impact on how much you will pay for your janitorial services than any of the others that follow. If you require cleaning service five times a week, then you can expect to pay roughly five times more than if you can get by with having cleaning done once a week. It's not a strict mathematical relationship like that, but it's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.
2. How often do you want dusting done?
Usually, general dusting once a week is sufficient. But of course, not all commercial facilities are the same in this regard. Only you can be the judge of how often this task should be done. Some offices need more, some less. Do not let a janitorial service contractor persuade you that this is something they will do every day in the context of a five-times-a-week contract. If they do offer this unsolicited, they will probably end up charging for it, but in reality only dust once or twice a week. Of course, if every day dusting is required for your facility, then you should let your contractor know during the bidding process. That way, you can be assured that you are getting what you pay for in this regard.
3. What about windows?
Window washing can have a big impact on the price you pay for cleaning services. Factors include frequency, number and kind of windows, outside and/or inside cleaning, importance, and ease of access. For frequency, see question #1 above. Door glass should be cleaned frequently, while office windows to the outside less so. The outsides of windows generally need cleaning more often than the inside. It's more important for showroom windows to be cleaned than those in a warehouse. First floor windows can be cleaned easily, while higher ones require more labor. It's a good idea to consider these factors before calling around for bids so all of your suitors get the same information. But maybe you can get by without having your windows done at all. All the better for your bottom line!
4. What about vacuuming?
That's your call. On a daily service schedule vacuuming may need to be done every time, or maybe only twice a week.Think about it and let us know. Every duty that's done less frequently than necessary saves you money.
5. Et Cetera.
There are some things that just need to be done all the time. Restroom cleaning, trash collection, and kitchen areas are all chores that need to be done as often as you determine the answer to question #1 above. But with a little forethought, you can save your company a decent amount of money with a smart allocation of the office cleaning tasks you need. Remember, you are the expert on your facility and can best answer these questions. But we at Springs Cleaning are here to help with any recommendations and advice on these matters. Just call or email and we'll be right out!
Baseboards are an often overlooked item in a janitorial or office cleaning contract. Just like in my previous post on window washing, it's usually because of a cost containment reason. But like windows, this needn't be such a concern, especially because, like windows, they only need to be cleaned a few times a year. And as you probably already noticed, assuming that your windows are clean enough to still let light in, your baseboards are very dusty at best, or scuffed and marred at worst.
We can help though. Depending on the size of your building, we can handle this job for you rather inexpensively. It's difficult to give an estimate in a blog post due to the many different styles of baseboards, and the amount of attention yours need. If you've been using our office cleaning or janitorial services for a while now, you're probably already comfortable asking us to handle these little extras for you, so feel free to. We'll check them out next time we're in, and then give you a price.
Of course, this is something you may want to handle yourself. If so, check out the following link for helpful hints:
Like baseboards and windows, keep looking for those little overlooked areas in your office and let us know if you want us to handle these things for you. More likely than not, we got it!
Have you ever heard "We don't do windows"? I have, and I always wondered "why not?" whenever I heard that. Although most commercial facility managers shy away from having their cleaning contractor handle their window cleaning needs, that need not be the case for your facility. Of course, if you manage a multi-story building with glass high above the sidewalk, a specialty window cleaning contractor may be your best choice. But for most of you, Springs Cleaning can easily handle this task.
Usually, when an initial list of tasks is agreed to by Springs Cleaning and a new customer, window cleaning is not included. Not that we don't want to do this for you, but in most cases cost containment is a higher priority for the customer, while clean windows are at the lower end. But as time goes by, I'll bet those dirty windows start to bug most of you. And even though a professional office cleaning contractor services your facility, you may find yourself either cleaning them or upset that they are so dingy.
Please, don't let this bother you! Even though window cleaning may not be part of your service agreement, Springs Cleaning will be happy to handle this for you. Whether you would like this task handled on a regular basis or just upon request, just contact us and let us know what you want, and we'll get it done.