How to Hire Commercial Cleaning Services (Guide for Office Managers)
Managing an office comes with its challenges and its rewards, doesn’t it? You’re constantly handling new obstacles and pressures in an effort to make everyone’s workday comfortable, safe, and productive. However, it’s a gift to be able to provide that to others and it’s something you probably take a lot of pride in. You deserve to.
As an Office Manager, one of the key ways that you impact your team is by enhancing and preserving the environment in which they work. Your employees deserve to work in an environment that’s hygienic, decluttered, and free of distractions. Employees are often at the mercy of workplace conditions they can’t control.
Although most companies require employees to help keep shared spaces clean, your employees weren’t hired to clean your office and neither were you. Hiring a commercial cleaning company can alleviate the burden on employees to keep things clean while ensuring that your office environment doesn’t suffer.
In this complete guide to hiring a commercial cleaning company, we’ll help you understand the benefits of hiring a cleaning company, how to find reputable companies in your city, how get the best rates for cleaning services, and how to manage them successfully.
Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company
Before we can explore how to hire your commercial cleaner, you’ll need to decide whether outsourcing your office cleaning is worth the expense and the effort to manage another vendor. Later, we’ll offer recommendations for keeping this relationship easy to manage but first, consider these 6 major reasons for hiring a cleaning company:
1. A Better Working Environment
By keeping your office not just clean but professionally spotless, you can ensure greater employee satisfaction and productivity. Rather than navigating around piles of papers or starting wars over break room leftovers, your people will be busy doing the work they were hired to do in a way that’s comfortable for them.
2. Expertise and Experience
Rather than dump the responsibility of cleaning onto a receptionist, in-house cleaner, or an office manager like yourself, go with the pros. They know how to keep things dusted, cleaned, and sanitized in a metered and professional way. By hiring a cleaning company, you’ll have peace of mind and enjoy a deeper kind of clean.
3. Reliability and Consistency
Rather than manage a rotating calendar of employee duties or an in-house employee who takes sick days, needs time off, and might leave for a different job, let your cleaning company manage the ins and outs. When you rely on their team instead of yours, you can be sure that someone will be there at the scheduled time, rain or shine.
4. Germ Evasion
While your employees might tidy their desks and manage their own trash, they’re not thinking about disinfecting surfaces or keeping germs at bay. Your commercial cleaning crew will be all over those high-bacteria areas. Especially during cold and flu season, you’ll be protected from office bugs in the best way possible.
5. Setting & Forgetting it
When one of your employees’ relatives is called upon as the “office cleaning lady” it can be difficult to set a schedule. Judy, who also grooms dogs, works part-time as an appointment setter, and travels for her third job, might not be available at the cadence your office requires. Instead, go with a seasoned team of cleaners who know when to show up and never default on doing so.
6. The Ease of Managing a Trusted Vendor
Using Eden’s office management platform, you can source a vetted vendor who suits your company’s particular needs and demands. Then, you can use the software to manage the schedule and pay invoices to the cleaning company - it’s so easy you’ll never want to go back to having an in-house office cleaner or managing things yourself.
When to Hire a Commercial Cleaning Company
The right time to hire a cleaning company can feel a bit evasive. Unless your office is in utter disrepair and there’s no one to handle it, you’ve probably found a workaround that kind of works.
Perhaps you have a rotating calendar where team members sign up tor specific cleaning tasks or you’ve got a “cleaning guy” or “cleaning lady” who comes to empty trash every Friday. It’s been okay so you haven’t stressed about finding a better solution.
Here are some warning signs that it’s time to hire a professional cleaning company on a recurring basis:
1. Your Team is Too Busy
Your team is lean but full of rockstars. They wear tons of hats and never complain that things are busy - they thrive on it. However, your team can’t thrive on the work they were hired to do if they’re busy emptying garbage cans and restocking resources. The brains of your operation are already draining precious time on meetings, less efficient tasks, and other distractions. For most companies, this is reason enough to hire a commercial team to cut down on time wasted internally.
2. Your Current Cleaning Situation isn’t Cutting It
Whether you’re unhappy with the level of cleanliness your current cleaning provider is achieving in your facility or you’ve got other concerns like cost, availability, or etiquette, it’s worthwhile to make the switch. While finding a new provider and onboarding them can take time and energy, you’ll earn back the time when you’re no longer dealing with an unreliable cleaning company or provider.
3. You’ve Just Moved into Your Office
New space, new rules. Whether you’re a brand new startup, expanding into new cities, a remote company who just went IRL for the first time, or you’re just moving to a new office in the same city, it’s a good time to set up new expectations and procedures for managing your space. It’s also reason enough to let your current cleaning team go or finally give your employees the respite from DIY office cleaning.
Typical Services Offered by Cleaning Companies
If you’ve never hired a commercial cleaner before, you might wonder what you can enlist them to do. This list varies by provider and the best policy when you aren’t sure is to ask explicitly. However, many providers will offer a laundry list of services they provide on their website.
The most common types of cleaning services include:
- Emptying/clearing trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms
- Dusting surfaces
- Cleaning mirrors, windows, and screens
- Restocking paper or other supplies
- Deodorizing and freshening the space
How to Find a Reputable Office Cleaning Company
Once you’re ready to hire an office cleaning provider, you’ll have new questions to answer: Who should we hire? How do we find them? How do we determine whether they’re a good fit?
Note: Eden’s Services Marketplace lists hundreds of top-ranked office cleaning companies across the United States. We’ve already done the work of identifying reliable companies that are recommended by other office managers. Our platform gives you the ability to request proposals from vendors, communicate with them, and manage invoices all in one place. You can request a free quote for office cleaning services here.
Whether you use a services marketplace such as ours to find an office cleaner or you search for one independently, here are 3 tips to help you find a local cleaning company to hire:
1. Referrals (Word of Mouth)
Tap into your network of other office managers or employees at other companies. The ones who rave about their cleaning crew will be a good indicator of satisfactory performance and the ones who don’t get a rave review should be noted, too. If you don’t have a network to consult, pose the question on social media or do some searching to see who has Tweeted or posted praise for their providers.
2. Online Reviews
Look at Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and Facebook for cleaning companies near you. Sort by those who have at least an average composite review of 4.0 and higher - but then, actually read the reviews. You should look for positive reviews that list punctuality, attention to detail, and exceptional service. Don’t forget to look at negative reviews, too - while some of these are undoubtedly written by a disgruntled former employee or client, many are telling.
Use Google to search for office cleaning companies in your city. Pay attention to the ads that show up at the top of the search results page. You can also refer to your local newspapers or Yellow Pages for advertisements from local cleaning companies.
How Much Should You Pay for Office Cleaning?
As you begin to explore proposals from commercial cleaning companies, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors including years in business, reviews and reputation, availability, and services provided. However, one reigning factor to consider is the price of service and that factor depends on all the others.
More experienced and widely-available companies tend to charge more than newer or smaller teams. There’s also no universal standard for the cost of cleaning services because your office size, the city you’re in, and the services you need may also vary. Finally, gratuity and other fees factor in with certain providers while others factor these into the quoted price.
To get the best possible price, make sure to give each proposal a twice-over to avoid hidden costs. Compare costs across at least 3 other providers before making a final choice. Aim for a combination of affordability and quality - the cheapest and the most expensive might both be wrong for you, and that’s okay.
Here are some tips for creating RFPs (Requests For Proposals):
1. Be Specific
When it comes to your commercial cleaning RFP, make sure that you’re specific about who should submit a proposal, what they should include in their proposal, and what might disqualify a certain company from your consideration. Allow your prospective vendors to weed themselves out in the first round.
2. Communicate What Matters Most
What are the features, perks, services, or specifics that matter most to you in a cleaning crew? Is it more important that they’re timely or thorough? Would you rather they be communicative or out of the way? You know your needs and your bandwidth best, so assert them upfront.
3. Know Your Needs at Scale
How often do you want your cleaning crew to visit? How will you determine that schedule and co-manage it? What types of cleaning do you need to hire out? What factors would implicate or change these expectations? Make sure that your RFP addresses these.
4. Cast a Careful Net
Rather than issue an RFP in 100 places, consider paring down to a few key places where commercial cleaning providers congregate. Eden can help with this.
5. Set Boundaries
What qualifying factors will help you identify the best-fit cleaning provider? How can you articulate these to prospective providers? What questions would you like them to answer to make your choice more clear?
6. Organize Site Visits
Once you have narrowed your selection down to 3-5 best-case cleaning crews, invite them in. Encourage providers to visit, tour the office, and ask questions they may have. This will give you the full picture of whether or not they’ll be a cultural and communicative fit for your organization but also whether they feel confident in their abilities to handle your space.
Once you make your choice, contract cautiously. Consider a probationary or temporary contract first, to test the waters and determine the viability of a more long-term arrangement. Make sure that both parties are open to renegotiating when needs shift.
Onboarding a New Cleaning Company
When you set out to onboard your new cleaning company there are a few things you’ll need to iron out. For the most part, your cleaning company should go over these things with you. However, you’ll want to discuss internally and make decisions about some things before the cleaning company is set to start.
Here are some things to consider when hiring a new cleaning company:
1. Office Cleaning Supplies
Who provides the supplies your cleaning company will use? If they use their own supplies, will you require that they use specific supplies that have a minimal odor, hypoallergenic, or eco-friendly? If you need to provide the supplies, will your cleaning team be familiar and comfortable with what you choose to use?
How will you communicate when things need to be refilled and who will be replacing and refilling these items? Do they store their materials in your office for use there, or will they be traveling with them each week? If you provide your own materials, where will you store them and how will you grant access to your cleaners? Will the cleaning crew bring their own vacuums, floor polishers, or other cleaning appliances and tools, or will these need to be provided by you?
2. Cleaning Schedule
You’ll need to determine how often the cleaning crew is expected to serve your office, on what days and times, and in what ways. Build in a contingency for weeks that fall during holidays or key events for your business.
3. Office Access
How, and through which entrance, would you like your cleaning crew to access the building? Will they need a code, swipe card, or key to enter or will someone be there to let them in? If you require any other steps for their secure access, make sure those are known and established.
4. Pre-Cleaning Preparation
Before your cleaning crew arrives each week or month, what do they need your team to do? Do they prefer garbage to be stripped from cans and set in an area for collection? Do they need devices unplugged, surfaces clear, or refrigerators empty before they arrive?
In the inverse, what do you need them to do before they leave? Do you want them to leave lights on or off? Should they take any special care to replace certain resources or reset key areas of the office? These instructions need to be clear and explicit from the outset. The best way to ensure that your cleaning team fits your needs is to express your needs clearly.
Tips for Managing a Commercial Cleaning Company
Once your cleaning company is onboarded and ready for action, you’ll need to monitor and manage the relationship with them, just like any other vendor. It’s important to understand that your commercial cleaners handle many different offices where expectations and demands may vary.
To ensure success, make sure you communicate and document expectations in both directions. When surprises, disappointments, or obstacles arise, handle them promptly and with care. Most importantly, give feedback openly and seek it openly, too. If your cleaning crew feels like they can come to you with problems or questions, you’ll never be the last to know when something breaks or breaks down.
Ultimately, getting into a rhythm may take a few weeks or even months. Remain patient yet diligent in communicating your expectations and needs.
How Eden’s Workplace Management Platform Can Help You
Our Workplace Management Platform is an all-in-one solution for Office Managers and Facilities Managers across the United States. We provide the best cleaning service providers, competitive bids, and the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
Using our services marketplace, you can receive multiple bids on any service that you may need to run your office - from office cleaning, IT support, handyman services, plumbers, movers, and more. Our marketplace only lists vendors that are recommended by other office managers in your city, and we complete multiple reference checks to make sure they are great.
Using Eden’s dashboard, you can chat directly with all of your vendors. This direct line of communication built into the dashboard ensures fast response times from vendors and a direct line of communication with your Account Manager too. All Eden vendors are trained to use our software, so you can rest assured that their skills are further enhanced by our technology, resulting in optimal performance
Office Managers and workplace teams can now streamline the collection and organization of employee requests. Your team members can submit tickets however is best for your office –– via Slack, website, email, or even our iPad app. No more getting tapped on the shoulder for requests. You can even see analytics around what types of requests are trending in your office, as well as your own request completion turnaround time.
Are you looking to hire a reliable cleaning company for your office? Learn more about our office cleaning services here and request a free quote for your workplace.