Is day cleaning on your radar, but you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the switch? Moving from night cleaning to day cleaning requires a major shift in building operations, so it’s not a decision that can be made easily or lightly. There are several pros and cons of day cleaning that affect facilities differently, so let’s ask some questions to get you thinking about whether day cleaning is the right choice for your building and employees.
1. What is the nature of the business performed in the building?
Some businesses are better suited for day cleaning than others. For example, highly populated and fast-paced offices may struggle with integrating a full cleaning schedule into the daily mix. Such an office may be better served by having a day porter to take care of smaller, less obtrusive tasks during the day, leaving vacuuming and mopping to later crews.
If your property houses multiple tenants with various needs, finding a schedule that suits all tenants may prove to be difficult, though certainly not impossible. It may instead become a question of how much time you are willing to commit to communicating and negotiating changes.
2. Do you have the right tools?
Cleaning in occupied buildings requires the use of unobtrusive machines and chemicals. If you are not already using tools that minimize negative effects to indoor air quality (IAQ), you must be willing to invest in them.
This means using microfiber cloths and mops that absorb dust rather than kicking it around, and which require fewer cleaning chemicals, therefore lessening potential airborne irritants. And speaking of chemical irritants, day cleaning also requires a commitment to green chemicals. Certified green cleaning products with low odor and no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are the best option for cleaning busy buildings.
Additionally, consider the noise level of your various machines. You may need to invest in quieter vacuums and other machines in order to commit to day cleaning.
3. Are you willing to perform some tasks outside business hours?
To minimize intrusion of workers’ daily schedules, you may want to create a cleaning schedule that assigns a few tasks before or after usual business hours. For example, surveys of your building occupants may reveal that vacuuming during the day isn’t feasible, so that task may be performed on weekends or early mornings. Heavy-duty seasonal work, like stripping and refinishing floors, will likely not take place during business hours either, as the task requires large spaces to be closed and could pose a safety risk to wandering people.
Creating a day cleaning schedule is about flexibility and striking the right balance between tasks performed before, during, and after business hours.
4. Are you prepared for the culture shift?
Switching from night cleaning to day cleaning is a major adjustment for all parties involved – the cleaners, cleaning management, the building’s occupants, and guests from the public.
Working out a new schedule may be a lengthy process. For starters, an entirely new cleaning schedule must be created, involving new hours and routes. This may also mean hiring new cleaning staff who have availability during the day. So in addition to revamping your cleaning schedule to fit the new hours, time must be spent on training new staff and/or re-training current staff on the new routes, procedures, and customer service protocol.
When explaining the changes to employees, you should be ready to over-communicate. Inform everyone at least 30 days in advance of the change, which will give you ample time to ensure everyone is aware and has been given the chance to ask questions. This also allows you to solicit suggestions, if you are so inclined, to help create a schedule that is truly beneficial to the building’s occupants.
5. Are you willing to experiment with schedules?
Your day cleaning implementation is unlikely to go without a hitch. Although your research prior to implementation should be thorough, you must be open to experimentation when your plans meet reality. You may have to change when you clean which rooms, experiment with day porters, try performing big monthly or quarterly projects on the weekends, consider central trashing and recycling, etc.
To reach a fully functional system that works for all parties, you may need to temporarily increase the number of inspections you perform. You will also need to constantly communicate with cleaning staff to learn their experiences and observations. Even if the start is not smooth, proper preparation and monitoring can minimize the bumps you encounter and the bumps the building’s occupants notice.
Swapping night cleaning for day cleaning is a big change, but luckily you have many resources at your disposal. From competent and experienced contract cleaners to cleaning organizations on the cutting edge, you are far from alone.