cleaner using iMop to clean reception floor

Isn’t it time to review your existing cleaning contractor?

As the cost of living increases, many companies will be experiencing rising prices across their business which will affect the products and services they provide.  Office cleaning has been an important service over the past two years but the business landscape has changed. As we emerge from COVID-19, all costs are being challenged so this could be a good time to consider your cleaning expenditure.   In this blog we look why it could be time to review your existing cleaning contractor.

4 reasons why you should review your existing cleaning contractor now

Cleaning hours to reflect new office or building occupancy

There may be no return to the traditional five day office week.  The pandemic has changed opinion and the longer-term implications are that working from home will remain at least in part.  Hybrid working, where staff split their time between home and office, it seems is here to stay.

The office will still play a vital role.  People still need face to face interaction for collaboration and development.  The changed office use however may require a new approach to when and how the cleaning takes place.

For example, if the office is much quieter on a Friday, then the team could focus on periodic tasks such as a kitchen deep clean.  If the office is fully closed one day a week, then the weekly hours could reduce accordingly.  Adjusting the schedules and frequency could save on the overall costs.

Every office is unique and every client has different needs. This means adjusting and tailoring the cleaning schedules to ensure staff continue to deliver the highest standards of office hygiene.

COVID Secure Cleaning

Anti-viral cleaning products are the new norm as they are proven to kill pathogenic viruses including coronavirus.  These should be used correctly following manufacturers guidelines.  It's important to note the contact time, which is how long a disinfectant must stay wet on a surface to be effective.

Regularly reviewing the office usage is essential to ensure that the enhanced cleaning regimes are still effective.  This includes frequently sanitising work areas and especially the common touch points.  These typically include door handles and push plates, kitchen appliances and washroom fixtures and fittings.

Continuing to enforce a clear desk policy helps to keep surfaces clear so that cleaning routine are effective.  Since cleaners have instructions not to move personal items on desks, having clear areas will make it possible to clean surfaces, keyboards and phone handsets.

More emphasis on environmental and sustainable responsibility

Clients increasingly demand that service providers use greener products, have better social responsibility policies and have a commitment to sustainability.

Sustainable cleaning in the workplace is about eliminating harsh chemicals and instead using biological products that are safer for the environment.  This extends beyond cleaning products such as

  • Using equipment such as the iMop to reduce water usage
  • Replacing vacuum cleaners with alternatives which are more energy efficient
  • Reusing spray bottles to reduce single use plastic waste
  • Using products made from recycled materials, and for paper products eg hand towels, to use sustainably sourced fibres
  • improving workplace recycling rates

Managing the cleaners

One of the biggest complaints from clients is that their onsite cleaning team do not feel supported.  This covers training, health and safety, understanding schedules and expectations, cleaning product availability and cleaning to the agreed specification in the contract.

Regular scheduled manager visits for quality audits provide an excellent opportunity to meet with clients and staff.  Meeting with the staff mean they can check the equipment and materials, review service delivery, check shifts and holiday cover and ensure the team has everything they need to succeed.

TemcoUK Facility Services is a professional commercial cleaning contractor

Temco has vast experience in commercial cleaning.  We understand that as businesses adapt to different ways of working, so too do our cleaning schedules need to adjust to reflect the changing landscape.  We tailor our office cleaning service to meet the unique requirements of your business, whatever days you work and whatever your office occupancy.

Our comprehensive list of services covers everything including office window and carpet cleaning, washroom services and pest control.

If you would like further information or reviewing your cleaning, please contact us on LinkedIn, email hello@temco-services.co.uk or call us 01895 520370.


Valuing People

The importance of valuing cleaning staff

Cleaning and hygiene rose the top of the agenda during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Cleaning operatives were seen as vital to protect the health and wellbeing of others during this time.  Their visibility gave confidence to returning office workers that their workspace was safe and hygienic.  With this changing attitude to a previously invisible workforce, this blog looks at the importance of valuing cleaning staff.

Cleaning Industry background

Traditionally in the commercial cleaning industry it was common knowledge that low pay and low expectations of staff was widespread. If you then add poor training and ineffective equipment, the results are poor productivity and at best, second-rate daily office cleaning. In spite of this, low investment in staff is rife, with contractors locked into the low wage and low expectation business model.

Fair Pay – Good Productivity – Great Service

The direct opposite of this business model for commercial office cleaning services begins with fair pay for staff, which naturally leads to high expectations.  The Living Wage is a great way to demonstrate fair pay to staff, and to recognise their important contribution.

The Living Wage Foundation rate is based on the cost of living and reviewed annually.  It is currently £9.90 and the London Living Wage rate is £11.05.  This compares with the national living wage, set by the government, which stands at £9.50.

Then add in a professional training regime and give staff the latest equipment to work with. The result is exactly as commercial cleaning services clients would wish - good productivity and great service. It is clearly in everybody’s interest that this approach is adopted.

Labour shortages

In today’s post Brexit, post lockdown employment climate, valuing cleaning staff has become even more important. Some European staff went home during lockdown. They have not returned and seem unlikely to do so in the future. In addition, many people have understandably re-evaluated their lives after being locked down, and this is clearly including many office cleaning staff. When they look around they find that they have more job alternatives open to them than before the lockdown. As a result it is only those who are happy in their work who are staying in the industry.

Temco staff working

Employer of choice

A daily office cleaning provider needs to be an Employer of Choice to ensure it can recruit the staff its clients need. It needs to earn a reputation for paying a fair wage and showing genuine concern for staff wellbeing. Then to keep existing staff they need to be encouraged to develop through training and incentives. They also need to be provided with the latest equipment which will help them do the job of office cleaning faster and more effectively.

High expectations

An ethos that encourages staff to deliver the very best service, giving them the most modern equipment and the best consumables will give your commercial cleaning services contractor a high quality attitude that will penetrate every corner of their operation. The result for clients is of course excellent productivity and the best possible service.

Training

Recruiting and retaining the best clean staff is not only about pay.  It’s also about providing training to safely deliver the highest standards of service using the best equipment available. Staff increasingly want to feel secure, valued and see a potential to advance their career.

The result for managers will be a highly motivated staff of professional cleaners who really care about their work. People who can be flexible when it is required. People who are responsive and resourceful.

TemcoUK – an Employer Of Choice

Our employees are the backbone of our business.  We always offer clients a Living Wage cost option, as we believe it is the right thing to do.  And we invest in people, technology and processes to ensure that our cleaning regimes reflect client requirements and building needs.  This enables us to recruit and retain staff who care about their work and go above and beyond, after all they often become a part of the wider client FM team.

The benefits for clients is clear: great service, a well-trained and supported professional cleaning team who consistently deliver the highest standards of workplace cleaning and hygiene.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your cleaning contract hello@temco-services.co.uk or call 01895 520370


Clear Cleaning Costs Create Confidence

When your contract cleaning company gives you clear prices for daily office cleaning it creates a strong base of trust in your relationship. Transparency makes sure that you know exactly which commercial cleaning services you are actually paying for.  This blog look at why clear cleaning costs create confidence.

At Tender

At the start of your relationship with a new professional contract cleaning company, clear prices are vital. This will enable you to properly compare the charges proposed by the competing companies. If you can compare each company in detail you will be able to make a fair assessment of each proposal and ensure you get the best for your premises.

Avoid Shocks

A professional contract cleaning company will be open and honest about the pricing for office cleaning services right from the start of the contract. The invoices you receive should be exactly as you expected at the end of the month. This will help you avoid those surprise costs that will throw out your financial plan.

Look For Detail

If the invoice your contract cleaning company sends you shows every service in one lump sum then you cannot know what you are paying for. As an example, you need to know the cleaner's hourly pay rate, not least because it helps with discussions about the Living Wage. It is also possible that you are paying for more cleaners than are actually carrying out your daily office cleaning. Or perhaps your cleaners pay is less, resulting in a lack of care and concern about standards of work. It is also possible that your contract cleaning company is making more profit from your contract than was agreed.

So you need clear detail in your quotation and invoices to get a proper understanding of the commercial office cleaning services supplied.

Situations Evolve

No company stands still, so contracts do change over time. If the last two years have showed us anything, it is that a contract cleaning company needs to be quick to adapt.

If your cleaning contractor supplies detailed pricing you will be able to look at the effect of any changes within your company before implementation. This will give you detail to help you keep any increases in costs as low as possible.

Commercial office cleaning services providers needed to understand and implement new rules to establish new protocols very quickly during the pandemic. Professional COVID disinfection and sanitising services, with new systems and new products had to be brought in fast. Access to clear pricing was essential for managers to understand the effect on their budgets. Otherwise they were working in the dark.

The current environment has staff shortages causing pressure to increase wages, plus rising inflation.  More reason then why Facility Managers need to understand the reason behind unavoidable upward pressure on costs.

Itemise Everything

Your commercial office cleaning services provider should give you a full list of all prices, which must include how much they are making. It is fair that a provider should make a profit, but only to the amount agreed. That way you will understand what you are being charged for all the time. You will also be able to see that the contractors carrying out your daily office cleaning are treated properly. Detailed pricing will show up important matters like care of staff and the progress of technical changes.

Clear Cleaning Costs Create Confidence

Your commercial office cleaning services provider should supply clear pricing from the word go.

It must include:

  • Direct wage costs - weekly hours multiplied by the rate of pay
  • Indirect costs - National Insurance, sick and holiday pay and pension
  • Compliance and equipment
  • Margins and expenses

There should be no concealed costs and your commercial cleaning services provider should only invoice for agreed charges. Specialist cleaning, like commercial window and carpet cleaning services must be listed separately. The cost of cleaning consumables should be agreed at the start.

TemcoUK Facility Services

With over 20 years experience in the commercial cleaning sector, Temco has always operated a transparent pricing policy.  Clear pricing makes working with us as your contract cleaning provider much simpler with less chance of invoice queries and misunderstandings.

Following a site survey, we will prepare an accurate quotation based on the hours required to achieve the cleaning specification.

If you are looking to change your cleaning provider, please give us a call or drop us an email to hello@temco-services.co.uk


TUPE and Office Cleaning Contracts

TUPE regulations were first passed in 1981 and in the Facility Management arena it is a very regular occurrence.  This blog looks at TUPE and how it applies to Office Cleaning Contracts.

What is TUPE?

The Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employees (TUPE) regulations give commercial office cleaning services staff protection in respect of their employment contracts when an office cleaning contract is moved from one contract cleaning company to another. This essentially means that employers cannot dismiss staff at will and the conditions under which they work remain the same.

Needless interference?

The TUPE update in 2006 caused widespread concern in the professional office contract cleaning sector. Commercial cleaning services then, as now, were provided for a fixed contract period of typically five years. Contracts running well sometimes had extensions and at some stage retendered. Some companies were used to having free reign to do as they wish with staff when taking on a new contract, because that was an easy way of managing costs. This could include reducing wages and increasing hours that daily office cleaning staff were required to work. Unsurprisingly these companies saw TUPE as a threat, bringing in needless interference and extra bureaucracy. The type of commercial cleaning services provider that behaved like that applied the business practices that result in low expectations of staff.  This usually led to poor productivity and likely as not, poor daily office cleaning services.

TUPE - An opportunity

The more forward looking contract cleaning company did not see TUPE as a threat. Indeed, for professionally managed daily office cleaning companies it was welcomed as an opportunity. These are the types of company that invest in staff, have high expectations of their abilities and provide them with the best equipment. This will result in high productivity and high levels of service. The structure of TUPE regulations when applied by a professional office contract cleaning company can go a long way to improve a contract. This includes a wide range of options to take apply and develop the abilities of staff at all levels throughout the contract.

Staff concerns

Inevitably though, and in spite of the many protections that TUPE regulations offer, staff understandably worry when the time comes for a new contract cleaning company to take charge. Staff will be concerned that their circumstances will change even within the bounds of TUPE, and that is unsettling. Gossip flourishes and it is easy for undesirable sentiments to flourish. For this reason it is important to avoid unpleasant shocks and focus on supporting them at a potentially troubling time and bringing them into the conversation. Good communication is a vital part of this process.

Trust

Through timely and considered messaging, daily office cleaning staff can learn that they can trust their new employer. Sometimes the contract cleaning company will have to deliver unwelcome news.  Maintaining trust happens when employers are honest and considerate. It is sudden surprises that undermine trust.  Furthermore this creates a negative atmosphere around the beginning of the commercial cleaning services contract. It takes time to rebuild that trust once lost.

The benefits of TUPE

Those viewing TUPE as an encumbrance lose sight of the fact that there are some genuine benefits for employees. The previous contractor might have been responsible for delivering the commercial cleaning services for several years. They might have become jaded, which staff sense and this will be reflected in their work. The old contractor unlikely to have the drive and enthusiasm of a new office contract cleaning company that has just successfully tendered for the contract. Almost certainly employees will find a new contractor more open to new ideas, welcoming comment and opinions about how matters might improve. A professional commercial cleaning company will genuinely value the grass roots viewpoints of those who have been closest to the sharp end of the contract. This ensures that new contractors can deal with any ongoing concerns right from the start.  Fresh ideas will reinvigorate every aspect of the contract.

It is a fact of life in the commercial office cleaning services industry that most employees will come to contractors through TUPE. It is also true that if those employers consult staff and treat them with the consideration they deserve, then provided with the best equipment and products, the new contract will be significantly better.

TemcoUK understands TUPE

Our team has vast experience of transferring staff via the TUPE process.  We always work closely with staff to discuss any operational changes and explain any changes to schedules or staffing. Our aim is a smooth transition which results in higher productivity and service levels.

Please contact us on 01895 520370 to find out more.

 


8 ways to reduce Office Cleaning costs

Now more than ever, keeping a workplace clean and hygienic is a top priority for Facility Managers.  A clean and well-maintained workplace sends a positive message to staff, customers and visitors and it plays an important role in wellbeing at work.  Regular benchmarking of cleaning costs is good practice, and a professional contractor will always work with clients to offer best value.  Here are eight ways to reduce office cleaning costs.

Review the cleaning specification

If the cleaning specification has not recently been reviewed, then this would be a good place to start.  The scope of work may highlight some time savings if its possible to modify or remove tasks.  Additionally, identifying high priority areas which must be cleaned daily will focus the cleaning resource as required and highlight other areas where frequencies could be reduced.

How many hours per week?

As we highlighted in a previous blog, using productivity to calculate cleaning hours required – rather than a visual inspection only – will ensure that the right number of hours are allocated to a project. Many clients will prefer to have a daily presence.  For smaller offices with less than 10 staff, it may be beneficial to consider having cleaners only for 3 or 4 days a week.  Please bear in mind that it is difficult to recruit cleaning staff for less than 1 hour shift as transport costs will make it uneconomic to work for such a short period of time.

Review consumables

Cost in use is a key factor when reviewing office consumables such as washroom paper and soap products.  Your cleaning provider may be able to reduce consumption by suggesting smarter dispensing options, and work with you to reduce waste and usage.  It’s a fact that higher quality paper hand towels for example absorb more moisture quickly, reducing usage and wastage.

Central bins

Individual waste bins are inefficient as cleaners spend a lot of time emptying each one and replacing the bin liner.  Removing them from under every desk and replacing with communal recycling bins will save time and money on the contract.  Furthermore, it can have a beneficial effect on recycling rates as it forces staff to rethink how they use and dispose of their rubbish.

Technology

In certain locations and office layouts robotic vacuums can be the ideal, innovative way to reduce time spent vacuuming floors.  Time savings mean more focus for higher priority tasks such as sanitising or desk cleaning.

New generation chemicals and surface protectors with increased efficacy offer another solution too.  These kill bacteria and viruses and provide a longer-term solution.

Promote a culture of cleaning up

Whose responsibility is it to return used cups and plates from staff desks to the kitchen?  One way to reduce the cleaning hours required is to ask staff to take their own cups, crockery and cutlery back to the kitchen.  This also applies to meeting room etiquette and clearing away items after use.

Review PPM frequency

Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) is scheduled maintenance outside of the standard cleaning, for example windows cleans and carpet deep cleans.  Preparation of schedules use a pre-agreed frequency of work, for example quarterly window cleaning.

However, this may not always be the most cost-effective approach, for example north facing windows may require less cleaning than south facing ones, or carpet cleans required only during the winter months.  Reviewing the schedules may result in frequency reduction.

Use a professional contract cleaning contractor

As businesses increase their focus on cleanliness and hygiene, it has never been more important to work with a professional cleaning company.  A cleaning contractor will work with clients to create a unique cleaning solution that mirrors the unique requirements of the work environment.

TemcoUK works with clients to deliver cleaning excellence

Commercial office contract cleaning is our business, and we have been in business for over 20 years.  We are passionate about providing an excellent service to clients.  Hundreds of clients trust us to deliver compliant, consistent and reliable cleaning leaving them to focus on their business goals.

Office cleanliness not only affects hygiene standards, but also overall employee wellbeing, productivity and morale.  If you would like to discuss your cleaning project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01895 520370 or email hello@temco-services.co.uk


New Year Resolutions for Office Cleaning

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022.  As we welcome in the new year, now is an ideal time to review the office cleaning and set new years resolutions which will keep the workplace clean and hygienic all year round.  Here are some ideas for consideration for new year resolutions for office cleaning.

New Year Resolutions for Office Cleaning

Here we have shown just 6 examples to start the process, but these vary by office type and unique requirements.

Ensure workplace remains Covid-safe

Continuing to maintain Covid-secure workplaces remains a top priority, and Facility Managers must continue to manage the risks for staff accessing the office.

Even with the vaccination and booster programmes it is still possible to catch and spread Covid-19.  With the new Omicron variant it’s clear that we will be living with Covid for the foreseeable future.  It’s good practice to review all site protocols, check social distancing rules are clear and consider the following:-

  • Cleaning regimes in place and followed including sanitisation of frequently touched surfaces and touchpoints
  • Sufficient stocks of consumables such as sanitiser, anti-bacterial surface wipes and face masks
  • Improving ventilation and air flow
  • Stocks of lateral flow tests, if requesting staff to test on arrival to the office

Keep up to date with innovations.  For example chemicals with residual efficacy are now available and there are a range of antibacterial and antimicrobial products which protect surfaces for longer, minimising the need for constant sanitisation.

Go green, make the office more eco-friendly

Becoming more environmentally friendly in the office is not as hard as it may seem.  Making some small changes can have a big impact on the office footprint.

Sustainable cleaning materials

Many professional office cleaning providers already use as standard environmentally friendly cleaning solutions and will be able to provide information and advice on this.  For Facility Managers looking for more sustainable solutions this is a quick win.  Innovative solutions such as SoluPak’s water soluble sachets offer a sustainable and effective solution.

Switch to reusables

Encouraging staff to switch to reusables at work is a simple way to reduce plastic pollution.  A good starting point is a reusable plastic bottles (rather than single use ones), and encouraging reusable coffee cups will help to reduce the staggering 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups that are used in the UK every year.  Furthermore, removing disposable plastic cutlery and plates to sustainable alternatives is another way to encourage a change in employee habits.

Start or review the office recycling scheme

Introducing a recycling scheme into the office environment is a great first step to reducing waste, carbon emissions and costs.  For existing schemes, its always good to review as waste contractors are making it as easy as possible to increase rates and bins should reflect specific requirements.  Latest developments mean that it is possible to collect waste in one mixed recycling service for paper, card, plastic and cans.

Plan periodic Carpet cleaning

Don’t forget the carpets when reviewing office hygiene.  There are many benefits to professionally carpet cleaning on a regular basis, including:-

  • Prolonging the life of an office carpet
  • Improving the office appearance by eliminating stains, spills and marks
  • Removing bacteria, viruses and allergens
  • Freshening the office and removes nasty odours
  • Creating a good impression for staff and visitors

Book window and solar panel cleaning

Planned window cleaning schedules will ensure that windows and facades are always well presented.  Window cleaning frequency will depend on a number of factors.  These include location, traffic, seasonality and proximity to green space (and the amount of birds).

Introduce office confidential shredding bins

Cloud storage and the digital age has reduced the need for paper but the truly ‘paperless office’ still seems some way off.  Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be achieved by providing a secure consoles to dispose of confidential waste such as paper documents or electronic or electrical materials such as hard drives and discs.  An on-site or off-site shredding service can be quickly implemented, and Certifications of Destruction issued once items are destroyed.

TemcoUK Facility Services – expert cleaning all year round

TemcoUK is a professional contract cleaning provider based in Uxbridge and serving London and the home counties.  As businesses are adapting to the post-Covid environment, it has never been more important to work with a specialist cleaning company.  We have the expertise and experience on all aspects of office cleaning and associated services – from cleaning, janitorial supplies, window and carpet cleaning and waste management – helping you to improve and maintain a clean and hygienic office environment all year round.

If you have made some New Year Resolutions for office cleaning and would like to find out more about our service, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01895 520370, email hello@temco-services.co.uk or visit our website www.temco-services.co.uk


How contractors should manage an office cleaning contract

One of the most common reasons which prompts clients to seek alternative cleaning contractors is lack of management.  This is frustrating to say the least, as office cleaning teams should solve issues rather than create them.  If you are finding that you are increasingly becoming involved in day to day service, then its definitely time to consider a change of provider.  In this blog we look at how contractors should manage an office cleaning contract.

The cleaning contract specifies the cleaning activities and frequencies for the cleaning team.  Ensuring this is implemented every day to the required standards is the essence of good contract management.  This should not be a firefighting role, but rather working proactively and collaboratively with the client to achieve a common goal.

5 key elements to manage an office cleaning contract 

Communication

Managing a cleaning contract effectively requires excellent communication.  The cleaning service should after all match the client requirements and things do change which may necessitate a corresponding change to the service delivery.

This could be about any number of issues, such as changing cleaning specifications or hours.  Communicating these changes, either by email, phone or in person, should be easy with the contractor responding quickly to confirm how they will be implemented and by when.  Lines of communication need to be clearly defined and responsibilities explained and understood by all members of the team.

Regular scheduled contract meetings

Having regular contract meetings with a set agenda will not only improve communication but will also help to build good working relationships.  To be meaningful there needs to be open and honest forum for discussions.

Reporting Performance management / KPI

As we discussed in an earlier blog, cleaning costs can make up a large proportion of an organisation’s FM budget so its important to ensure the service delivery is as per the agreed terms.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are a common way to measure and monitor the contract against business objectives.  The KPI may be made up of various different indicators which vary, but typically contain scores for the following:-

Quality of Service

Determined by the results of quality and compliance audits.  These scores reflect the results of many areas, for example scoring the cleanliness of an office desk or reception floor.

Staffing

This would include staff training matrices and that right to work documents are in place.  It should also report on employee attendance and any other issues relating to the cleaning team.

Health & Safety

For example reviewing accident or near misses, Portable Appliance Test (PAT) reports, checking that Risk Assessment and Method Statements are in place, as well as the necessary COSHH and MSDS documentation.

Periodic Schedule (PPM)

This would be to review the periodic tasks which support a daily office cleaning contact, for example window cleaning, washroom services and pest control.

Operational including Site inspections

Checking equipment is in good working order and fit for use

Are all cleaning material in stock and storage correctly

Are the cleaning cupboards neat and tidy

Ensuring cleaning workplans up to date and cover arrangements in place if a member of staff is absent

Environmental and sustainability issues

Financial / Budgetary

Closely monitoring financial performance to check how actual spends compare to the allocated budgets.  The main spend is labour.  Other costs are chemicals and consumables for example washroom items such as soap or paper towels.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction results can be discussed here and a review of any helpdesk or other issues arising.  Good cleaning contractors will strive to exceed client expectations through consistent service excellence and client-focused solutions to deliver reliable, good quality cleaning.

Feedback provides crucial insight into a contractors performance, identifying issues which can be rectified for continuous improvement.

TemcoUK Facility Services is a professional commercial cleaning contractor

Established in 2001, TemcoUK provides professional daily office cleaning and associated facility services in London and the South East.

There is a vital difference between  on and offsite contract management.  We often find when we tender for a cleaning contract that clients are happy with the onsite staff, but become frustrated by the lack of interaction and support by offsite managers.

Temco has an excellent record of contact management, and you will have full transparency on your service from mobilisation and for the duration of your contract.  We professionally manage our contracts are our managers will make regular visits to monitor performance and discuss any issues.

Please get in touch if you are looking to switch your cleaning provider.  Call us on 01895 520370.


Transparent pricing in office cleaning contracts

Commercial cleaning is a sizable part of the facilities cost for most organisations, and it can be confusing to understand what exactly is covered.  In the B2B commercial office cleaning market, where bids can include many component parts, FM managers must be clear they know what is included in costings to remove guesswork and uncertainty. Price transparency is one way to mitigate this.  Here we examine what is meant by transparent pricing in office cleaning contracts.

What does transparent pricing in office cleaning mean?

Transparent pricing means breaking down the total cleaning cost into component parts so that each item is clearly identifiable.

Benefits of clear and transparent pricing

Understanding an office cleaning costing is vital for 4 reasons.

Firstly, it enables facility or building managers to compare cleaning costs from different companies on a like for like basis.  This is very useful to check that contractors are offering value for money.

Secondly, it enables budget holders to hold incumbent contractors accountable for what they are billing verses the service received.

Thirdly it provides a baseline cost, where it is easy to see the changes to the bottom line when one or more elements change.  This is particularly relevant in today’s environment with increasing wage rates and inflationary pressures.  This was also applicable during the pandemic when cleaning service requirements changed frequently, and facility managers needed to understand the impact on their budgets.

Finally, it enables clients to be clear on the wage rates being paid to cleaning staff working in their buildings.  This opens up discussion for introducing the Living Wage for instance.

Breakdown of a commercial cleaning cost

A commercial cleaning cost can be broken down in many ways depending on the nature of the work. In general however these are common elements common for most cleaning providers:-

Direct labour cost

This is the majority of the cost.  In simple terms, this is contracted hours multiplied by the agreed pay rate.  For example for one cleaning operative contracted to work 15 hours a week at £10.85, the direct labour cost would be £162.75.

Other labour costs include

Statutory

  • National insurance
  • Pension
  • Sick pay
  • Holiday pay reserve

Staff

  • Staff training
  • Recruitment
  • Staff vetting and right to work checks
  • Uniform

Materials & Equipment

  • Equipment including maintenance and portable appliance testing (PAT)
  • Cleaning materials and chemicals
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks

Legal

  • Employers and product liability insurance

Consumables costing

These are usually charged on a usage basis, as the amount can vary from client to client.  Examples of cleaning consumables are below.

  • Paper products such as toilet paper, hand towels, tissues and centrefeed rolls
  • Waste sacks
  • Kitchen products such as washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and rinse aid
  • Skincare and hand hygiene such as soap, sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes

Services cost

Associated facility management services would include

 

TemcoUK Facility Services – open, honest and transparent pricing from the start

Every Temco quotation we provide shows a cost schedule for cleaning services, with clear and transparent pricing so that our clients know exactly what they are paying for.

The cost is broken down into elements.  Firstly, the total direct wage costs: the number of hours times payrate.  Secondly, there is a breakdown of non direct costs including for example national insurance, pension, sick pay and holiday reserve.  The third element is directly related to the cleaning such as equipment, materials and staff compliance costs such as vetting and insurance.  Finally we show our profit and overhead figures.  There are no hidden extras, and we charge only for what we have agreed with our clients.

Additional service costs are itemized by service line, for example window cleaning or pest control, and consumables are invoiced with a line-by-line breakdown by month and site.  All consumable unit costs are agreed in advance, and annual costs are provided where a purchase order is required.

Costs are updated annually in line with changes to the Living Wage Foundation rate.  These pay rate changes are announced in November with implementation within 6 months ie by May the following year.

If you would like to discuss your cleaning contract or are considering a change of cleaning provider, please contact Temco today 01895 520370.


Commercial Cleaning Roles and responsibilities

Daily office cleaning contracts need an organized staffing structure to ensure adherence to a specification.  Typically these roles are cleaning operatives, day house keepers and supervisors.  Larger sites will additionally include a site manager to manage and oversee the cleaning team.  Ultimately these roles report to area or regional managers.  In this blog we look at the differences and in these roles and responsibilities.

Cleaning roles and responsibilities - Creating an effective management structure

Establishing the contract management structures means defining responsibility for who will do which roles and how often.  This is critical to ensure that all elements of the client cleaning specification are undertaken in the right way at the right time.  A key element is contract management, including conducting regular quality audits and health and safety compliance via cleaning RAMS.

Cleaning Operatives

Cleaning operatives carry out cleaning as per the daily work schedules from the contract specification.   To minimize disruption they will usually work out of hours, for example early mornings or in the evenings.

General cleaning duties are varied but often include:-

  • Sweep or mop hard floors
  • Vacuum carpeted area
  • Empty bins
  • Sanitise touch points
  • Clean & sanitise desks, chairs, furniture and glass as per work schedule
  • Clean skirting boards, windowsills and ledges

Day House-Keeper

The main purpose is to keep areas clean, safe and well maintained during the day in line with the cleaning specification.  Their presence lifts the profile of cleaning and provides confidence to staff that their office is safe and hygienic.  Examples of their duties are:-

  • Clean and Sanitise High Contact communal areas throughout the day eg
    • Door handles and stair handrails
    • Tables & chairs
    • Kitchen appliances, work surfaces and taps
  • Clean and Sanitise Washrooms throughout the day eg
    • Door handles & locks
    • Counter tops
    • Ensure area is clean and checked through busy lunchtime hours
  • Refill dispensers
    • Toilet rolls
    • Paper towels
    • Soap & sanitiser
  • Managing requests for reactive and proactive cleaning
  • Help with hospitality duties to support the FM team
  • Providing cover where required

Supervisor

A Supervisor has responsibility for working to agreed work plans to meeting contract requirements.  They maintain clear lines of communication between the client, managers and the cleaning team.  Supervisors may be working or non-working, depending on the site requirements.  They are responsible for implementing the site operating plan and their duties typically include: -

  • Organise daily work schedules, and co-ordinate the cleaning team
  • Accurate recording of staff timesheets and communicate with area manager re payroll
  • Manage / Order stocks of consumables and cleaning products, and maintain equipment
  • Providing cover for sickness and absence
  • Lead and motivate staff to maintain consistent service levels
  • Check the cleaning in all areas are up to the required standard as per the cleaning specification

Site Cleaning Manager

Larger sites may also employ a Site Cleaning Manager.  Their role is to effectively manage and develop the contract and ensure service level agreements are being met at all times.  A key part of this is to continually seek creative solutions to improve productivity, efficiency, and service.

Duties will include:-

  • Being the main client point of contact
  • Developing, managing and motivating cleaning staff
  • Managing stocks of cleaning materials and equipment
  • Ensuring contract is adequately resourced, recruiting staff as necessary
  • Ensuring staff training is up to date
  • Monitor health and safety performance
  • Monitoring periodic work
  • Deal with staff performance and attendance

Area, Regional and Operations Managers

Ultimately onsite cleaning roles report into an area, regional and or operations manager.  Their role is to provide support and development and ensure that  every level is supported by the one above.  They will be focused on delivering consistent and reliable cleaning across all contracts and looking to incorporate innovation and improvements.  Responsibilities include:-

  • Ensure that SLA’s and KPI’s are achieved and exceeded
  • Budgetary control
  • Ensuring quality and compliance audits are conducted and shared with clients

 

TemcoUK Facility Services – providing clarity and transparency on cleaning contracts

Established in 2001, Temco is a professional and trusted contract cleaning provider.  Passionate about delivering outstanding service, we work in partnership with our clients to ensure we staff our contracts correctly and that the structure is in place from the outset.  We offer clients full transparency and compliance on the service we offer and work collaboratively to create tailor-made solutions.

If you are fed up with cleaning companies that promise the earth and deliver only disappointment then please give us a call 01895 520370.  Our service is reliable and consistent and we create bespoke cleaning schedule to fit your business perfectly.


What are cleaning RAMS?

Like many other sectors in the construction and building sector, professional contract cleaning companies use RAMS to improve the health and safety of business operations.  RAMS stands for Risk Assessments and Method Statements and are part of our safe system of work documentation.  This blog examines what are cleaning RAMS and why they play such a key role in contract safety.

What does RAMS stand for?

RAMS stands for Risk Assessments and Method Statements.

RAMS and Risk Assessments – What’s the difference?

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 regulation, risk assessments must be completed by any business which employs over 5 people.

A risk assessment:-

  • Identifies hazards in the workplace, defined as anything which could cause injury or illness at work
  • Quantifies the hazard to determine the risk, or how likely is it that someone could be harmed, and how seriously
  • Controls the risk, if a risk is identified then a plan must be taken to eliminate the hazard or control the risk

A method statement:-

  • Details exactly how to carry work out safely and the precautions to be put in place to control the risks identified in the risk assessment
  • Details the equipment to be used including PPE to keep workers and others safe whilst tasks are ongoing
  • The statement also covers the hazards associated with by-products e.g., waste disposal and leaving the area clean, tidy and hazard free.

Which tasks require cleaning RAMS?

All cleaning tasks require RAMS!  However, cleaning generally comprises two components, daily office and periodic cleaning.

Daily office cleaning RAMS cover for example vacuuming, hard floor mopping and the cleaning of office and general areas such as receptions and communal areas.

Periodic cleaning RAMS focus on tasks which cannot be done during normal office cleaning such as hot water extraction carpet cleaning, hard floor deep cleaning, upholstery and furniture cleaning and kitchen deep cleans.

The importance of RAMS

RAMS ensure that the right people with the correct skills and training using the correct equipment work in a way to ensure the safety of themselves and others.  Ultimately they reduce the risk of incidents or accidents.

Additionally, it’s really important to include all members of the cleaning team in briefings before a job starts, and to make sure that everyone fully understands and agrees the work.

How do RAMS help make cleaning safer?

  • Improve business operations

With clear instructions for how to safely complete tasks, there is no need for individuals to experiment or guess

  • Reduce misunderstanding

The clear step by step instructions leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding.  For example, informal instructions can be incorrect or change as they pass from one individual to another, and language barriers can result in instructions lost in translation.

  • Safer decision making

Pre-agreed method statements set out the steps to take, reducing the need for individuals to decide how to overcome problems

  • Increase safety

When implemented together, there is a much higher level of safety.

TemcoUK Facility Services – Full Health & Safety compliance

Health and Safety is a major priority at Temco and we have a full set of RAMS to cover all areas for our work.  Our Health and Safety Manager, who is fully qualified with years of experience, creates and updates our documentation adding new ones whenever required.

For each new contract we create bespoke risk assessment documentation.  The relevant site RAMS form part of the staff local induction training are available to view at any time.  Our team regularly reviews all RAMS documentation to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Health and Safety applies to everyone, from the senior management to each and every cleaning operative, and it runs through all aspects of our business.

Teams keep up to date with legislation and keep staff updated.  Examples are Slips, Trips and Falls.

At Temco we encourage all staff to contribute to the process of creating Risk Assessments and Method Statements. We positively welcome suggestions for improvement and believe that our operational staff should play a key role in the process.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to find our more about how we manage our health and safety.  If you would like to discuss changing your office cleaning provider, please do call us on 01895 520370 or email hello@temco-services.co.uk.