Part I: INTRODUCTION
When it comes to ensuring business efficacy and generating revenue, much research has shown that employee motivation and productivity play a huge role in achieving them. As organisations are made up of and rely on their employees, it stands to reason that taking care of their well-being will ensure that employees are capable of carrying out their tasks effectively. One such way of improving employee productivity is to engage a professional office cleaning service that will maintain a safe and hygienic workplace. While having a clean office environment might be the last thing that many organisations think is important to a successful business, it is one of those things that can go out of hand when ignored or not properly taken care of for too long.
Given the fact that we are currently going through a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more crucial that office spaces are regularly cleaned so that employees’ health is protected. This way, they will be able to work productively without worrying that their health will be affected while in office. The same goes for companies that see a lot of customers who frequent their premises like the hospitality and food retail industries. The cleanliness of the commercial space will not only garner positive impressions but also increase trust in the organisation. As a result, maintaining a clean and safe office environment should be a top priority for all businesses.
Nevertheless, many businesses prefer to hire freelance cleaners rather than a professional cleaning service due to certain assumptions. Or they might think that office cleaning expenses is one area that they can scrimp on. Therefore, this article shall serve as a comprehensive guide to office cleaning services in Singapore and will cover what office cleaning entails, the prices of such services, and how businesses can find the right office cleaning service for their workplace.
PART II – OFFICE CLEANING SERVICES IN SINGAPORE
2.1. How Does A Professional Office Cleaning Service Operate?
Many businesses often think that they can reduce the cost of their office cleaning by hiring freelance cleaners. However, it is only by engaging a professional office cleaning service that businesses can ensure that the cleanliness of their premises meets high hygiene standards. As most organisations may not be aware of how an office cleaning company operates, this section will shed light on the processes. They are:
Understanding the cleaning needs of the office
Learning and understanding the cleaning requirements of a given workplace is the first and most important that an office cleaning company will do. While most office spaces follow similar layouts, there are certain needs that are specific to either the organisation or the industry they are in. For example, food retail businesses might also need disinfection services as they experience a large amount of human traffic which makes it much easier for germs and bacteria to accumulate. Other commercial spaces might have carpet floors that require special carpet cleaning services.
Creating a personalised cleaning program
After carrying out an on-site inspection to ascertain cleaning needs, an office cleaning company will create a personalised cleaning program that consists of the recommended cleaning services and the cleaning schedule. This can range from daily office cleaning to carrying out pest control and disinfection services regularly.
Implementation of services
A professional office cleaning company has a staff of office cleaners who have been fully trained and skilled in cleaning the various sections of your company’s workspace. They will use best practices to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned to eliminate odours and germs. They are also knowledgeable in dealing with different types of cleaning messes and knowing which cleaning supplies to use. In addition, once the cleaning schedule has been decided, it will be strictly adhered to so that a clean and sanitary environment will be maintained at all times. In the event that an office cleaner happens to go on leave, the cleaning company will find a suitable replacement immediately so that there is no interruption to the cleaning process.
Feedback and improvement
A competent cleaning business will constantly assess its methods and gather feedback from clients in order to suit the cleaning needs of the organisation. This guarantees that the cleaning program is carried out effectively and that the office cleaners are able to maintain a sanitary environment at all times. Furthermore, regular assessment and feedback will reveal any changing cleaning requirements, allowing the office cleaners to improve their services and ensure sustained customer happiness.
2.2 5 Misconceptions of Office Cleaning Debunked
Although a professional office cleaning company has much to offer in the way of expert cleaning services, many organisations are often reluctant to hire them either because of the cost or because of certain misconceptions that they may hold. These misconceptions are:
1. Employees can manage the office cleaning
A common misconception is that office and commercial cleaning is similar to residential cleaning i.e. cleaning the home. As many people would have cleaned their homes before, many organisations assume that offloading office cleaning duties onto the employees would be adequate in ensuring a tidy and sanitary workplace. This is far from the truth as employees of the company might not be aware of the cleaning needs of their specific workplaces and might not have knowledge of the cleaning products and procedures that they need to utilise. This might result in subpar cleaning.
That is something that a well-trained professional office cleaning service can provide.
2. The type of cleaning product and equipment is not important
For many companies, getting the cleaning job done is often more essential than the steps and procedures involved in it. That’s why they might have the misconception that as long as the office appears spick and span, it does not matter what type of cleaning product and equipment was used. However, this can backfire on the company and cause even more problems if the company uses poor-quality cleaning products. Certain chemicals and cleaning agents might cause health problems for employees and furniture with delicate upholstery might get destroyed with the wrong product. As a result, hiring a commercial cleaning service will ensure that the right tools are being used to achieve a tidy and hygienic workplace.
3. Carpets do not require regular cleaning
Besides its aesthetic purpose, carpets also act as a sort of ‘cleaning’ filter that traps dirt from employees’ shoes and air pollutants such as pollen, smoke, and fungi. However, this also makes it a hotbed for germs when too much dirt has been accumulated on the carpets, which spells bad news for employees who suffer from asthma or have certain allergies. With dirt and residue building up in carpets so fast, it is crucial that they are cleaned regularly so that harmful bacteria do not have a chance to spread to the humans inhabiting the office space.
4. Professional cleaning is only needed when the office is visibly dirty
Prevention is always better than cure and that applies to office cleaning as well. In particular, the COVID-19 virus can spread through surfaces as it can remain on them for a few hours. Thus, if a company delays professional cleaning until the premises are visibly dirty, it will be of little use as the damage would have already been done. As such, maintaining a clean and sanitary workplace is a regular affair to ensure that pathogens (disease-carrying bacteria) are cleared away before they have a chance to do any real harm.
5. Commercial cleaning services are expensive
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to decreasing costs in a business, one of the few things that are trimmed is office cleaning expenses. One of the reasons being that commercial cleaning services might appear costly as compared to the benefits they might bring. In reality, reducing office cleaning expenses might result in further unforeseen expenses down the line, whether it is because of employees falling sick or the company not meeting regulatory hygiene requirements. That’s why office cleaning companies offer different cleaning services and packages that will adequately meet the budget set by businesses while also achieving their cleaning goals. Therefore, cost should not be an excuse for not engaging a professional cleaning service as it is an investment that will yield high returns in the long run.
PART III – THE REALITY OF OFFICE CLEANING
3.1. DIY Versus Freelance Versus Professional
While the previous section debunked a few misconceptions about professional office cleaning services, businesses might still want to weigh its pros and cons against other cleaning methods such as DIY (Do-It-Yourself) cleaning and freelance cleaning. Thus, this section will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each cleaning service and determine which one is the most suitable for organisations.
DIY office cleaning
This refers to employees being in charge of cleaning the office premises. As mentioned before, some organisations might engage in this method as they believe that office cleaning is straightforward, does not require much effort, and ensures cost savings. However, more often than not, it results in inadequate cleaning either because the employees forgo it or end up using the wrong product. In addition, employees might not have enough skills to thoroughly clean office bathrooms and pantries, which often have a higher hygiene standard. And for companies that require daily cleaning of their premises, DIY cleaning will not be the best course of action.
Moreover, office cleaning might take up invaluable time that an employee could be spending on doing tasks that move the business forward. Therefore, it is better to assign simple cleaning tasks to employees such as keeping their workstations tidy, disposing of trash properly, and cleaning up accidental spills. For bigger cleaning tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming, and thorough disinfection of surfaces, a professional will be much better at ensuring a sanitary environment.
Freelance office cleaning
If companies decide to outsource their office cleaning, they often do so by hiring a freelance cleaner. These are experienced cleaners who work on an hourly basis so that businesses can be assured of a hygienic environment at a lower cost. Besides having a flexible cleaning schedule, business owners can also directly supervise the cleaning as the freelance cleaner has to answer to them.
On the other hand, freelance office cleaners do not provide cleaning products and equipment, which means the company will have to maintain their own office cleaning inventory. Moreover, while direct supervision is a boon to many businesses, it also means that they are held accountable for the cleaner’s performance and for any lapse in sanitation. Hiring a freelance cleaner also means that businesses are beholden to their schedule, as they might not be able to find a replacement when the current office cleaner chooses to take annual or medical leave.
Professional office cleaning
Quality service, provision of cleaning materials, a fixed cleaning schedule, and a wide choice of cleaning services that can be customised to match the organization’s needs and goals are just a few of the advantages that businesses will enjoy when they hire a professional office cleaning service. Since a professional office cleaning company’s top focus is to suit the organisation’s cleaning needs, its cleaners are dedicated to keeping the workplace environment as clean as possible. This also ensures that when cleaning the office premises, the cleaners use best practices and the most up-to-date cleaning equipment. Furthermore, because many office cleaning companies also provide additional services like pest control, sanitation, and air-conditioning maintenance, businesses can consider hiring one agency instead of multiple for these crucial services.
Nevertheless, the cost of hiring a professional cleaning service is one of the biggest disadvantages for businesses as they are typically more expensive than freelance cleaners. Yet, the advantages of hiring an office cleaning company far outweigh the disadvantages and it is even likely that businesses will experience a high return on investment when they spend on their office cleaning. As such, the next section will cover how office cleaning services are priced and how businesses can determine their office cleaning budget.
3.2. The Price Of Office Cleaning Services
Office spaces are as distinctive and varied as the people and businesses that occupy them. Be it the number and size of the rooms, the types of office furniture to clean, or the labour costs of the cleaners, there are several factors that influence the price of cleaning services. In general, there are 2 guidelines that an office cleaning company in Singapore will use when determining the final price.
1. The number of hours and days
Most commercial office cleaning companies price their service by the hour. As such, the longer it takes, the more it will cost. In addition, the cost will increase if the business requires the cleaning service to come in on several days. The schedule is typically decided once an inspection of the office space has been completed by the operation team. They will assess the condition of the office, take note of the different rooms that need to be cleaned, and the area of the entire office. From there, they can determine how long the cleaning will take and how frequently the area will need to be cleaned in order to ensure maximum cleanliness.
2. The type of cleaning service or task
Some services such as pest control, disinfection and air-conditioning maintenance require the use of specialised cleaning equipment and products that often cost more than regular products. In addition, these services will also have to be administered by a specialist so that the service will be effective. This is especially important for disinfection services which require the cleaning staff to wear personal protective equipment and know how to use disinfection treatment so as to properly sterilise the premises.
At the end of the day, it will be beneficial to consult with an office cleaning company as they can give an overview of their services and price quotes.
3.3. How To Determine Your Office Cleaning Budget
Once businesses have decided to outsource their office cleaning, they may be considering the best way to plan their office cleaning budget. Expense management is often a sensitive issue for many businesses as owners would have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of a certain product or service to determine whether it will be a good investment. While price can determine the quality of the service, there are still ways to ensure affordable office cleaning for business owners. As such, here are 4 factors that businesses should consider when they are creating a budget for their office cleaning.
1. Frequency and duration of cleaning
Just as how an office cleaning company will determine the service duration based on office inspection, businesses should also consider their environment when deciding the frequency of their office cleaning. This can be industry-specific e.g. an aesthetic clinic has to adhere to strict hygiene policies which means that they probably need daily office cleaning services to ensure a sanitary environment for compliance purposes. The average number of employees per day might also affect the frequency of cleaning. If there are more employees, there will be more dirt and residue accumulating in the office, and thus require more cleaning. Consequently, the first step in deciding on an office cleaning budget is to think about the needs of the employees and the business.
2. Square of the area being cleaned
It goes without saying that the larger the surface area being cleaned, the longer it will take. As an office cleaning company charges by the hour, this means that the square footage of the office will increase the cost of cleaning. However, that should not deter a business from hiring a professional office cleaning service as there will be highly experienced office cleaners who are well-equipped to clean large offices.
3. Inclusion of high-traffic areas
Bathrooms and pantries are considered high-traffic areas where a lot of germs and bacteria can build up if they are not cleaned regularly. Including these spaces might result in either increasing the frequency or the duration of the cleaning, which in turn, impacts the price. For bathrooms, it might involve using special equipment and cleaning products so as to ensure a hygienic environment.
4. Types of furniture being cleaned
Upholstery and carpet cleaning services will incur an additional cost due to the type of equipment used and the processes involved. For upholstery and carpet cleaning, there are typically 3 steps. Firstly, they will be thoroughly vacuumed to remove most of the surface dirt. Following which, a pretreatment will be applied which helps to break down the more stubborn areas of dirt and also make it easier to deep-clean. Lastly, extraction cleaning will be performed with rotating brushes and powerful suction to completely remove the dirt. Thus, a business will be expected to pay more if they require more than a regular cleaning service of vacuuming, mopping, and wiping down surfaces.
Luckily, an office cleaning company will work together with the business to understand their needs so that they can come up with a suitable cleaning program that meets their budget requirements.
Part IV: Conclusion
While we are all aware of the importance of cleanliness, it often takes a backseat when it comes to running a business. Given the current pandemic we are in right now, it is safe to say that the negative consequences of not maintaining a hygienic office environment can be quite dire. For busy businesses, hiring a professional cleaning service can help ensure a clean environment wherein their employees and customers can carry out their activities with little risk to their healths and with peace of mind.
Boost your business efficacy and productivity with LUKIS’ wide range of office cleaning services! Contact us today to learn more.