Office Cleaning – The Changing Profile Of The Office Cleaner In The Corporate Workplace



Traditionally, office cleaners have been part of an invisible workforce in the corporate environment clearing up the office out-of-hours, either late at night or early in the morning. With the growing popularity of daytime cleaning the visibility and perception of office cleaners has undergone a dramatic change in the workplace. This has required a change in mindset not only for the office cleaning team, but also for the office worker.

The benefits of daytime office cleaning are well documented and it is now widely accepted that this approach offers a host of business and operational improvements including reduced costs, increased productivity and enhanced customer care. However, there is often some skepticism and mistrust at the start that needs to be overcome to convince office staff that changes will not disturb the working environment, but ultimately enhance the office space.

Visibility And Availability
This increase in the visibility and availability of office cleaning staff tends to raise the overall awareness of the process, highlighting its importance and demonstrating the commitment to high standards. As a result, building occupants tend to show more respect towards office cleaners when they see them working hard to keep the building clean, so greater care is often taken by staff and visitors as a result.

Higher levels of interaction will often occur between the office cleaners and office staff, with spills and problems often reported immediately, so issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently to avoid costly-damage to the office environment. Furthermore, it also leads to greater mutual understanding, resulting in enhanced communication and less complaints.

Advanced Technology
Some of the initial resistance amongst office staff to daytime office cleaning is caused by a misconception that the office cleaners will be disruptive to their working day, using loud and awkward equipment along with unpleasant or toxic cleaning chemicals. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate the advancements in cleaning technology to overcome this misunderstanding.

For example, cordless vacuum cleaners using lightweight batteries, avoid the need for trailing leads so remove any potential health and safety risk, whilst low-noise technology enables previously intrusive activities to take place without causing disturbances. What is more, backpack vacuum cleaners provide added mobility in inaccessible or difficult to reach areas.

Elsewhere, microfibre technology including cloths and mops remove the need for using cleaning chemicals, only requiring a minimal amount of water. This means that horizontal, vertical and floor surfaces can be cleaned better, faster and safer, without emitting any unpleasant fumes or odours. Furthermore, tests have shown that these products eliminate significantly more bacteria than traditional office cleaning tools providing added protection to office staff.

Staff Engagement
Social issues are affecting how the office environment is perceived and this is enabling greater levels of engagement with staff to the benefit of the office cleaners. High profile concerns such as global warming and swine flu have led to a wider interest in initiatives linked to the cleaning operation, providing a chance to educate staff and engage with them with regards to issues such as sustainability and hygiene.

The swine flu epidemic last year brought office cleaning and hygiene to the forefront of people’s minds, with businesses and employees alike looking at ways of minimising the spread of the disease. With desks and office equipment a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, there is an opportunity to take advantage of staff concerns to raise awareness of hygiene issues and offer guidance on how best to prevent infection.

By briefing employees about the personal and business risks, what measures are being taken, and how they can help, it is possible to not only to reduce absenteeism due to sickness, but also reassure staff by offering added peace of mind.

Recycling has now become an important consideration for all companies who are under legislative, corporate and social pressure to reduce the impact of their operation. Increasingly, an integrated approach is being taken with the cleaning operation, so it is possible to tap into the desire amongst many people to support sustainable waste management. By getting staff to work closer with office cleaning operatives it is possible to achieve a positive office environment that increase levels of recycled office and operational waste.

Improved staff communication and engagement will not only raise the profile of the office cleaners, but also contribute to a leaner, more effective operation that is positively regarded and is recognised as being an essential element of the office environment.End of lease cleaning

Professional Office Cleaning Operations
The changes in working times brought about by daytime office cleaning means that there is greater need to position office cleaners as a professional service provider, so they receive the necessary respect from office staff and visitors, as well as represent the customer’s business in a positive manger. As a result, new uniforms are often introduced to smarten up the image of the office cleaning staff to reflect the new high profile nature of the operation.

Daytime cleaning also changes the make-up of the operation, with a smaller number of office cleaners working on a full time basis. This helps the office cleaning profession to be recognised as a career opportunity, so this not only boosts the stature of the cleaner within an office building, but can also ensure a higher calibre of employee looking for a long-term role.

In addition, this switch to a smaller team of full-time operatives enables office staff to quickly become familiar with their individual office cleaners, creating a relationship and making them part of the corporate environment. This benefit is further boosted by lower staff turnover that is usually achieved when introducing daytime office cleaning.

Daytime cleaning offers an opportunity to positively promote the role of the office cleaning operation within the corporate environment. Whilst there are some cultural ramifications and perception issues to deal with, it is possible to achieve buy-in from all stakeholders within the office workspace and demonstrate the value that is being provided by the office cleaning team. Daytime cleaning is changing the image of the cleaner to everyone’s benefit.

Initial Facilities Services, a division of business services company Rentokil Initial, provides  facilities management, hospital and catering services for organisations of all sizes and in all business sectors throughout the UK. Initial Facilities Services’ flexible approach is designed to meet the precise needs of its customers whether they need single or multiple services, an integrated solution or full facilities management.

Initial Facilities Services comprises a range of complementary and market-leading businesses including Initial Cleaning Services, Initial Retail Cleaning, Lancaster Cleaning and Support Services, Initial Specialist Services, Initial Window Cleaning, Autograph Foodservice, Eden Foodservice, Initial Hospital Services and Insitu Services.

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