Category of Blogs on Planning the Cleaning routine, activities, etc

How to Inspect Office Cleaning Work and ensure Service Quality

You come in to work and find the air-con out of order. Time to switch on the trusty old fan which has not been used for ages. BUT, dust gathered on the blades is strewn everywhere. Big mistake!!

You see the cleaning staff hired by your company every day and wonder why the fans have not been cleaned. And that got you thinking if inspections are being carried out on the office cleaning procedures from the contractor that was hired.

If this is a familiar scenario at your workplace then it’s time the Facility Manager or Office Admin carry out an inspection, ensuring that the quality of service rendered out always meets expectations.

While this may seem like a tedious task, quality management is crucial for evaluating the end result of the cleaning service. By keeping a baseline to check against whether service is improving, stagnant or declining, you can then use this information for feedback.

So, here’s the “how to” of office cleaning inspection that can help ensure service quality.

Raising Standards by measuring Cleaning Outcomes and Service Quality

Cleaning outcomes relates to the desired cleaning results whereas Service Quality relates to the response time for a particular task. This shows whether the cleaning contractor is able to meet performance standards set by your company.

inspecting against a checklist

An effective method of keeping check would be to create a Performance Inspection Checklist.

While general checklists are easily available for reference, it’s advisable to customise it according to your office layout and requirements.

Before creating checklists, first have a common understanding of the cleaning elements in question. A sample of what cleaning elements would include is shown below –

Cleaning Element Definitions

Description Definition Example
Visible Area Area easily in line of sight Table tops, floor, wall
Non-visible Area Not within line of sight Under table, high surfaces
Inspection unit Elements within a given space Corridor, lobby, stairway
Element Items in a unit Door, floor, fixtures
Dust Light dust particles Thin layer of dust
Dirt Dust that has been gathered Thick layer of dust
Dried stains Stains from spillage Liquid or beverage
Spills Pool of liquid from spills Liquid or beverage
Litter Item not disposed correctly Paper or other waste
Fixture Items secured to wall or ceiling Basins, switches, AED
Signage Sign for information Exit, directory
Display Items hung on wall Notice board, poster
Furniture Movable items Table, chair, sofa
Decoratives Movable items Pots, planters
Electrical Appliance Electricity powered appliances PC, microwave

 

How to obtain desirable Cleaning Outcomes

Here are some practices of getting desired cleaning outcomes –

  1. Categorize the Premises

Decide which areas are high and low priority. High priority sites are to be inspected on a regular basis compared to low priority.

  1. Identify What Needs to be Inspected

List of items that need to be inspected, frequency of checks and coverage targeted.

  1. Performance Indicators

Do the cleaners provide a desirable cleaning outcome? Are the areas inspected free of dust? Feedback given by employees or the public on hard to assess areas are another method of linking performance indicators to desired outcomes. These indicators affect hygiene standards in your office premise.

  1. Availability of Resources

Your company has the flexibility to decide if a comprehensive checklist is to be made for all areas to be inspected or to high priority areas only. A simplified checklist can be made for low priority areas. This is based on available manpower.

  1. Ratings

If possible a joint inspection with the cleaning company should be carried out. Feedback and customer satisfaction can be shared based on ratings given.

What is Service Quality & how to record it?

How fast does the cleaning contractor response on ad-hoc requests? Are cleaning requests outside service hours entertained? These measures determine service quality. Response time for critical to non-critical requests should be recorded together with time taken to complete the task.

Ad-hoc and regular requests can be recorded in a simple spreadsheet or table of the form given below –

 

Conclusion

Inspection is recommended to be carried out immediately after a cleaning job. Take into consideration the time lapse between the inspection and the last cleaning for a fair review.

Including the above elements together with others which befit your organisation, your office environment will be clean and conducive to give optimum productivity.

With the professional, trained cleaners from agencies like A1 Cleaning Services, you don’t have to worry about dust flying off the fans should your office air-con be out of order!

Clutter-free your office desk! Start your day on clean slate every day.

achieve moreStress…Anxiety…Monday morning blues every single day of the week….ever wondered what the reason might be? Well, that place where you spend one third of your day, your Work Desk, perhaps isn’t comforting enough.

Mess and clutter, are an immediate turn off. And that holds true even for your office desk, a pleasant working environment sure boosts one’s productivity.  Research shows that 57% of supervisors, co-workers, and clients pass judgment based on how dirty or clean people keep their workspaces. You may be a worthy employee but a messy desk leaves a poor impression.

So, let’s walk you thru some easy tips & tricks that’ll help you start your work day on the right foot and also leave a lasting impression on your colleagues and customers alike.

Quick picks to reduce “stuff” on your desk.

The first initiative one can take is to reduce the number of things that hold permanent acreage on the desk.  Such as –

Files & Binders

If you are one of those who works on multiple ongoing projects, then Create a System…prioritize, label, separate and keep the current on top. Gather like items together. Divide the “keep” papers or files into two lots: active and reference.  Place them in order of necessity. Try not to pile; rather organize in vertical folder holders or binders on your wall or the side of your desk for easy access.

Mailbox

Let incoming letters and paper mails sit in one box at the corner of your desk. Best is to use a stacked In/Out tray

Concealing Cords

Bunch of power cords, telephone cables, network connection, etc can not only get messy but also gather dust. Designate an out-of-the-way spot, via a hole or side of the table or install conduits, wood panels, cable boxes or cable cords, so they do not need to be continually shifted about. Make your desk look presentable top to toe.

Printers and Scanners

Find a spot off your desk if possible, or better still opt for common printer that everyone in the office can share

Stationery

Too many supplies, pens and notepads can be annoying, keep only what you need and stash the rest in a drawer or a common Stationery supplies cabinet.

Personal items

Bags and purses are meant to be close, but their place is in a drawer or a cabinet, where it is safe and away.

Start with these measures and implement them bit by bit or if you can afford to take time off for a day then empty your entire desk and re organize it all over again. From there on its good to schedule a clean-up day, a particular day in a week or a month.

well organised work desk

Bottom line…Your office desk should hold only essentials such as computer, a phone, and paper work that needs immediate attention.

Digitize and also Go Green

In this digital age, we are morally obliged to reduce usage of paper and also help the environment.  Going digital and working with “soft” copies is the way to go.  Some ideas to adopt are –

Post-it notes

Notes are just reminders; how long do you need them? Rather feed these bits of information into electronic software such as on-line post-it notes, One-Note, EverNote, or even the computer desktop and say bye bye to the tiny space eaters

Contacts and Business Cards

Business Cards are an unavoidable but a vital and ever going stack. But thanks to technology…Microsoft Outlook and other CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) include note sections where you can provide information about the person and the meeting. Otherwise use a scanning app such CamCard and digitize them. It’s a lot faster to find and occupies much lesser space

Papers and Documents

Magazines, reading material, mails or previous month’s records are sure to have a copy online. Let them shred in peace! Keep a habit of storing and finding them digitally

 

Other (non-physical) Types of Clutter

Clutter might not only be physical. How many times has a thought, idea or action item popped into your head and then disappeared…and then we keep wondering what it was and simply not able to recall it due to the mental clutter in our heads.  Well, add it to your to-do list or assign it to your calendar…this helps you to focus priority items first and then take up these for subsequent action by easy reference.

Clutter can also be technological. Your computer, smart phone, iPad or Kindle can be loaded with useless documents and apps. It prevents you from being creative and saps your energy and focus. So, uninstall or delete!

Everyday take a few minutes before you leave work to clear off your desk and make it presentable. The reason; when you walk into the office the next day, you will be cheerful and can get down to work right away with a big smile. Make your office desk a part of you, and you will keep it like your home! Sparkling, non-messy and clean.

Hire Cleaning Lady

5 Things you must do before Hiring a Cleaning Lady

The concept of outsourcing the Home and Office Cleaning Function is fast catching on in Singapore.    Today, Professional Cleaning Services are readily available and affordable enough to engage on a regular basis. It has therefore become necessary for citizens to increase their awareness about how to get the most out of their cleaning services. Like anything in life, even hiring a cleaning service involves a certain degree of preparation and planning.

Via this blog, we intend to highlight a few important points that you need to put in order before your cleaning lady drops by, to ensure it’s a smooth and beneficial experience for all.

1)    Confirm pricing and scope of work at the onset

You may have looked at your cleaning agency’s price chart or heard about how much the service agency charges. Unless you get a precise quotation for your job, refrain from starting on it.

Once your hired cleaning lady arrives at your place, show her the entire area and get a clearance on the costing again, before commencing. Discuss what all will be covered and done in the decided cost before the work begins. At this point, you may actually go into the tiniest details if you feel the need to, only to avoid any hassles later.

2)    You may find out background and credentials of your cleaning lady

As a client, you have every right to know past experience and other details such as residency status of your cleaning lady. You may ask for these clearances and keep a copy of them with you for reference purposes.

3)    Discuss what and how it should be cleaned

When you hire any professional service, never assume that the agency knows what you want, unless you’ve worked with them earlier. Each individual has their own hygiene expectation. Ask the cleaning lady to show you a wiped and scrubbed sample patch before she continues with the whole unit.

4)    Find out how long the entire cleaning procedure is going to takeCleaning time table

Most cleaning agencies will specify how long their tasks are going to take. But once your cleaning lady sees the premises, get the time aspect clarified again, just in case, she feels she may need more than previously estimated.

Prepare an efficient cleaning schedule that mentions the order of items to be cleaned, and the time to be spent on each.

This will reduce your stress if you have prior appointments lined up after. It will also avoid the probability of a rushed job in the last fifteen minutes, when you suddenly realise that time is running out and there are still quite a few cubicles/rooms to go.

5)    Stock up on all cleaning supplies and tools in advance

Depending on the texture of the surfaces in your premise i.e.: granite, glass, wood etc, you will be required to keep solutions, detergents or powders ready, which suit those surfaces. So find out what all is required and make sure you try them out yourself, before you hand them over to your assigned cleaning lady.

At this point, also ensure you specify how much liquid or powder she can use. Most good quality solutions don’t require more than a few drops per surface.

Along with the liquids, make sure you are well stocked with the right mops, sponges and scrubs for the various areas and floors, counters or furniture surfaces. This will just make the job easier, quicker and more hygienic.

So making the most of your cleaning visit requires a little bit of prior planning. This will not only benefit your immediate experience but will also assist you in establishing a healthy and long term relationship with your cleaning agency.

Office Cleaning Schedule

How to Set a Cleaning Schedule that Keeps the Office Spic and Span All Week Long

 

Tasks in Workplace CleaningDo you want an office that’s always clean? Then don’t wait for the end of the week to get your office cleaned! A clean and neat office appeals to the staff morale and work attitude in a positive way, so it’s important that the office be constantly clean all week long.  And this kind of upkeep can only be achieved through an effective Cleaning Schedule.

Depending on the size of office space, nature of operations, number of working staff, etc; different kinds of schedules may have to be made to maintain the premises neat & tidy with a good ambience.  Some things may have to be cleaned everyday while others are ok to be cleaned less often.

Here’s how to go about it –

The Daily Five Rule of Office Cleaning

5 things. Yes with just these five tasks done daily, both sanitation AND sanity can be maintained at all times in the office!

1.      Cleaning Bathrooms

With so many people in an office, and with Mother Nature always calling, the bathroom is number one on the list of things that needs to be washed daily. Even if you’d like to leave the deeper cleaning chores in a bathroom like maintenance of the mirrors and faucets, and dusting of ventilation, these are parts of the bathroom that absolutely MUST be washed everyday for the health and safety of everyone:-

  • Toilet bowls scrubbed and cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Floors scrubbed and cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Sinks and sink surfaces wiped with antibacterial detergent
  • Taps cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Soap and toilet paper refilled

2.      Vacuuming

Even though most may be vacuuming their homes on a weekly basis, the office is a place that needs daily vacuuming. This is because it is a high traffic area with a lot more people passing through per square foot.  Daily vacuuming not only picks up the obvious pieces of dirt and debris, it also prevents allergic and respiratory problems resulting from dust and pollen that tends to settle in carpeted areas –

So, don’t forget to vacuum…

  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stairs (if any)
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Hardwood and tiled floor

3.      Washing Dishes

This may seem like a no brainer, but sometimes the office pantry tends to be the most neglected.  Unwashed glasses/cups and office cutlery breed mold and foul odors.  Health hazard alert!

A clean and fresh smelling pantry is needed for staff to take snack and coffee breaks that actually refresh and rejuvenate them.

4.      Clutter Control

Daily tidying up is easy to do as there isn’t much pile-up of clutter except that day’s things.  This would be instinctive to a responsible staff rather than be done by a cleaning company.  At the end of the day

  • Stationery should be placed in its proper place,
  • Inbox/Outbox trays should be used accordingly for pieces of work,
  • Any other Knick knacks should be put back in their places.

A tidy workspace improves productivity by allowing staff to access things they need quickly without going through obstructive clutter.

5.      Filing Papers

Ok you could call this an extension of the previous chore, but in an office setting, this earns its own slot. Not filing papers daily is not just bad for the sake of tidiness but for the business itself.  If records cannot be found at the right time, or worse, if they get lost, the business could incur much loss and damage.  If not taken care of daily, paper can pile up and take over every surface area of an office. So, take all your papers through this short checklist everyday and you will breeze through the filing process..

  1. Does it need to be responded to?
  2. Does it need to be filed?
  3. Can it be thrown away?
  4. Does it need to be shredded?

Now, act accordingly. If possible, set up a whole filing station in the office complete with trash can and shredder and filing cabinet.

Managing the Deeper Cleaning

So we’ve covered what needs to be done on a daily basis.  Let’s go through how the “less frequency” demanding chores can be managed to maintain a truly clean office.  Here’s a sample table that you can begin with and improvise further, depending on your needs

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Dusting- Furniture

– Window sills

– Curtains & blinds

– Ceiling fans, AC vents

 

Laundry of necessary items

Cleaning and wiping windows, doors, and mirrorsThorough cleaning of kitchen appliances, sink, microwave, etc Cleaning and shaking out doormatsSpot cleaning walls Tending to indoor plantsCleaning light fixtures Straightening bookshelves books and magazinesSpot treat carpet and upholstery (stain removal, etc.)

List of Cleaning Tasks

This cleaning list and schedule would pretty much covers everything needed to keep the office spic and span all week long.  If you are hiring a cleaning company, you could even collaborate with them using your list and theirs to make sure that nothing gets missed out.

For seasonal chores like carpet shampooing, cleaning air conditioning vents, exterior window cleaning, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. They will have the proper tools needed for the job and are well versed in the safety procedures too. Include a placeholder for a visit from them to your monthly or yearly calendars.

Now that you know the basics, grab a sheet of paper and make your own personalized schedule or simply take a printout of this one and enjoy a fresh and clean office every day of the week!