In these challenging times value for money is as important as ever, and ensuring you are paying the right amount for your office cleaning to deliver the standards you require is vital.  This blog looks at why commercial contract cleaning companies should be using productivity to calculate office cleaning hours for quotes, rather than visual inspection.

Productivity matters because it enables accurate calculation of the cleaning hours required for any project.  This helps to identify and implement operational efficiency by using appropriate equipment, materials, processes and training.  There are many variables and of course no two offices are the same.

The drive for successful contractors is to find new innovations and techniques that enable cleaning teams to achieve high cleaning standards in less time for the optimum outcome.

How to calculate office cleaning productivity

Define the office space

Productivity is based on size, square footage or square meterage, so the start point is to establish the office space size that the quote will cover.  This should eliminate all areas not included in the cleaning specification, for example server rooms or technical areas.

Measuring the office space

When architect office plans are unavailable or out of date, the only way to start is to measure the space manually.  This can be done by walking around the premises using a small lightweight laser distance measuring tool.  At a click of a button the essential measurements can be obtained and recorded.

Determine area splits

The next stage is to understand the percentage split by area, as each has a different cleaning productivity which affects the cleaning hours required.  Washrooms for example have much lower productivity than corridors.  The different areas would be for example

  • Office
  • Washroom & changing rooms
  • Corridors & stairs
  • Meeting rooms
  • Reception areas
  • Kitchens

What is cleaning productivity?

What is productivity in relation to cleaning?  According to the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), the average productivity rating establishes the amount of area covered by one trained cleaning operative in one hour.

In general terms, this is typically around 230-250 m2 per hour.  However, the productivity varies enormously depending on a wide variety of factors.  Some examples shown below.

Factors which affect cleaning productivity

Client expectation and cleaning standards

Detailed specifications are essential to accurately calculate productivity.  This is what will deliver the cleaning standards.  A project with client-facing areas may have a much higher specification that a cost-conscious one who requires only the basic service.  And clients who have invested heavily in a high-end office fitout or refurbishment will demand very high cleaning standards of their prestigious office.


High density open plan office space means rows of desks tightly located together.  Each individual desk requires cleaning and sanitisation.  And in these pandemic times, partitions have been introduced to minimise infection and of course these need to be made safe to ensure workplace hygiene.

Client specifications

Understanding all the elements of the specification is important and additional items for consideration include:-

  • Cleaning and restocking coffee machines
  • Practicality – Are there individual or communal waste bins, location of cleaning cupboard etc
  • Do fridges require cleaning and disposing of food at the end of the week
  • Availability of areas to clean, eg late-running meetings
  • Is a daytime presence required for sanitisation of high contact touchpoints

Building age, type and layout

Older buildings typically take longer to clean than newer ones thanks to things like quirky design with awkward nooks and crannies, uneven floors and old-style materials.  Types of buildings are office, schools and healthcare facilities, each of which have specific cleaning requirements.  Finally, layout plays an important role in productivity as open plan offices are generally working at higher productivity rates than older style configurations.


Temco Bespoke Quotation Tool – TemQuote

Temco has developed a bespoke quoting tool TemQuote to accurately calculate cleaning hours required for each quotation.  We take building measurements as a starting point, determine the percentage split by area and overlay the client specification and expectations.  This provides the hours required for the project.  The resulting figure incorporates the latest innovations and cleaning techniques to ensure that the service specification is delivered at the highest achievable productivity levels.

For successful bids these figures provide valuable information to ensure the staff schedules and workplans are effective, efficient and achievable.

If you are looking at your cleaning provision, please call us now on 01895 520370 or email  We’d love to talk cleaning with you!