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sduke
Simon Duke

30 Nov 2015, 15:15

7 things office cleaners can do to improve workplace productivity

For most service businesses, the cost of owning/leasing and operating their workplace accounts for approximately 15% of their total business expenditure. This is typically the second largest cost, next to, but a long way behind, labour. Since the cost of owning or leasing office space is significant, Facilities Managers are often tasked with reducing this cost. Before you do this, however, we’d ask you to consider the following.

The greatest portion of real estate costs is immovable and relates to rent and property taxes. Just 14% of the total building cost relates to the management and maintenance of the facility.

If you do the maths, a 15% saving on Facilities Management only produces a 0.3% reduction in total company expenditure.

Conversely, labour costs usually account for 70% of costs. It only takes a 0.25% uplift in worker productivity to move an organisation beyond the 0.3% saving made in reducing their real estate expense. Since so much time is lost to non-productive activity, this is an easy win, which should be exploited.

So the big question is, how can Cleaning Service providers promote the productivity of office workers?

Here are 7 things we think every office cleaning company should doing:

  1. Workers rate their desk, chair, computer and telephone as the most important environmental factors impacting on their productivity. Let’s keep workstations clean and hygienic so that workers can get on with their jobs unhindered.
  2. Staff absenteeism costs the UK economy between £10billion and £32billion per annum, depending on who you believe. Let’s reduce absenteeism through ‘cleaning for health’ initiatives and promoting hand-washing and the provision of hand sanitising gels and desk wipes.
  3. Chemicals in cleaning have been linked to asthma and other allergies. Let’s move toward bio-enzymatic cleaning solutions and embrace micro-fibre cleaning
  4. Studies have shown that a broken window left unfixed encourages vandalism. People perceive a lack of care and adopt it. Let’s ensure we do our bit to keep workplaces looking clean and tidy. This is likely to have an impact on the discipline for detail adopted by office employees.
  5. Cleaning issues distract workers, since they have to report the issue and then typically waste time complaining to their colleagues. We need to promote consistency through improving the competency and engagement of our cleaning teams.
  6. When issues do arise, let’s fix these quickly, identify whether steps can be taken to prevent recurrence and communicate resolution of the event to the appropriate parties.
  7. Finally, if FM managers weren’t tied up with operational issues, they could be more effective in strategically impacting how the office environment affects employee productivity. As cleaning contractors, it’s our responsibility to proactively manage our own service line and to communicate effectively with the FM team, so that they can get on with being strategic.
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