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.


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.

 


TemcoUK White Paper - Hybrid Working

How Daily Office Cleaning is adapting to Hybrid Working

The cleaning industry has been adapting fast to the pandemic to ensure every office environment is safe and inspires confidence to returning staff.  This blog looks at how daily office cleaning is adapting to hybrid working.  For more information, please check out our latest white paper.

Changes in office use

The traditional five-day office only working week is unlikely to return.  Most staff have adapted rapidly to the pandemic and have worked productively from home since March 2020.  The change has become the new norm, causing an enormous shift in office use.

Offices however will not disappear and many surveys such as from PWC reveal that one third of organisations believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.  The same survey showed that 71% of respondents plan to increase investment in technology that enables agile working.

Communication and Collaboration

Offices will become collaborative hubs, used to add value for collaboration and communication.  The aim is to foster and build the team mentality that is vital to a vibrant business. In addition it is essential for younger workers to have access to the office for mentoring and to learn and understand the business and its culture.

Team days

Reducing and changing the office space will mean that different teams might need to be allocated different days to avoid overcrowding. Offices will have to adapt accordingly.  Many are already undergoing refits to radically change the space, making it more flexible for the fluid requirements of hybrid working.

Rethinking Office Cleaning for hybrid working

Office Cleaning has changed dramatically becoming more strategic with targeted areas receiving more frequent attention.  As most cleaning providers have experienced, this has resulted in a re-assessment of every aspect of the cleaning process to ensure absolute clarity for clients. They will have pared every specification down to its constituent elements, task by task, to ensure every aspect is appropriate in this new world.

And of course every site is different.  This means significant planning and tailoring to the cleaning schedules like never before to ensure staff understand and implement new client protocols, taking into consideration use levels, social distancing and office occupancy.

Range of Solutions

Cleaning providers work with a number of approaches to cover every contingency.

  • Daily Cleaning: Using anti-viral products proven to kill coronaviruses and conforming to EN14476.
  • Reactive Cleaning: having mobile teams to quickly respond to suspected or confirmed COVID cases.
  • Preventative Cleaning: installing long lasting surface protection to high frequency touch points such as door handles and push plates, and using products which offer residual protection.

Up-skilling the cleaning team

The enhanced and precise demands resulting from the pandemic carry through to the cleaning requirements for the hybrid office, so high quality and well-trained staff are essential.

COVID training needs to be meaningful including the basics, how to clean and sanitise effectively and how to work within individual office protocols.

Alignment with Facility Manager (FM) teams

Close cooperation between cleaning providers and FM teams is key to deliver a work environment that is safe from COVID.  Implementation can be in a number of ways.

  • Matching the cleaning to office use, reflecting for example team changeover times or busier days. It should also incorporate daily priorities and be adjusted to the new demand, with cleaning schedules updated.
  • Cleaning should reflect client daily priorities and be adjusted when required to prioritise sanitisations. For example on a busy day with more staff in the office, then desk sanitisation prioritises carpet vacuuming.
  • Having sufficient stocks of essential supplies becomes increasing important. This would include for example soap, sanitizer and hand towels.
  • To give confidence to staff, cleaners may undertake more frequent cleaning of kitchens and washrooms and any communal area.
  • There is a wide range of innovative products which can be deployed on client sites to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. Examples include data driven cleaning, antimicrobial surface products with residual protection and robotic cleaning.

TemcoUK Facility Services – keeping workplaces clean

Based in Uxbridge, London, Temco has been delivering professional office cleaning services since 2001, keeping workplaces safe, clean and hygienic.

We are agile and client focused and have adapted our business in the past 18 months to reflect the new requirements of daily commercial office cleaning. We have an excellent record of professionally managing cleaning contracts, and provide a full range of services to cover all client needs.