How To Work With Office Service Providers

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Your workplace is a tight-knit team. So, there’s a specific type of stress that comes from bringing office service providers on board. While your colleagues understand your company’s workplace culture, protocols, and modes of communication, office service providers don't.  

If you're not using a software like Eden, you'll need to be very careful about how engage service providers. Here’s what you should do to ensure that your relationship with your providers is productive and fruitful.

What To Do Before Service Starts

Establish Terms and Conditions

From the start of your relationship with the providers, you will want to establish the terms and conditions of the services. For example, if it’s a cleaning service, you should be clear how frequently you would like them to be there. Will it be weekly? Or, will they be coming every morning and night? How thorough should they be? You should come up with a to-do list with your provider that covers all this information. In addition, make sure to cover all this information in your early correspondences and have a detailed contract that all parties will be held accountable to.

PS - You can skip these steps by using Eden’s workplace management software instead.

Set Up A Mode of Communication

It’s critical that you and your providers have an established method of communication. Though you probably communicate with your colleagues through Slack or G-Chat, your providers will be more accustomed to email or text-message.  You should also inform them of someone they should reach if you’re unavailable or on vacation.

Have Them Visit the Office

After you have agreed on schedule, rates, and the terms of work, you should have your service provider visit the office so they can be familiarized with the space. During your tour, make sure to show them all the specifics of your office and what parts might need some extra cleaning. In addition, introduce them to your colleagues so they are woven into your community.

Set Up A Feedback Schedule

There should be frequent check-ins between you and the office service provider. In the event of an emergency or something truly drastic, communication should be instantaneous. However, it’s generally advised that you have a set schedule in which you will give feedback about how they’re doing. These terms should also be included within your contract.

Prepare Them For Irregularities, Renovation, And Special Events

When it comes to communicating your needs to office service providers, you can never be too sure. You should inform them of specific events that they might need to do services for that don’t necessarily abide by their regular schedule. This way, they will know in advance whether or not they will need to book extra workers or specialists to accommodate your needs. You should also tell them in advance if your office is going to undergo renovations so they know not to book their employees for those dates. Your providers will likely have termination fees and would generally prefer advance notice. Therefore, you should tell them in advance.  

Inform Your Team

Before the service providers start coming on a regular basis, tell your colleagues about them so they aren’t surprised. There may be a time in which custodians have forgotten their swipes or don’t remember the access codes to get into the office. Hence, your colleagues should know what to do in that scenario and be prepared to help them in. Send an email to your office notifying them about the new service providers. To be extra thorough, send a Slack the day before they start.

What To Do After Service Starts

Ask For Feedback From Your Colleagues

As an office manager, your day is probably comprised of dozens of tasks. It will be impossible for you to keep track of whether or not your service providers are doing an adequate job. You should outsource this task to your colleagues. In your email introducing the new office service providers, tell your colleagues to inform you if they have evidence that the providers aren’t doing a thorough job. Instruct them to take photographs of the incident and to email it to you. Once a month, you should email out a survey to your colleagues asking them questions about the service providers. Here are a few survey platforms:

Analyze The Feedback And Send A Progress Report

Instead of sending your service providers all of your colleagues’ feedback, you should curate and condense it. Chances are that your coworkers will have overlapping complaints so it will be up to you to synthesize all the information. If you have a question about a complaint, ask your colleague individually and gain a better understanding. In your progress report, try your best to include photographic evidence of each complaint and also detail the specific time of the complaints so the service providers can know which of their employees they should speak to.

Send Regular Progress Reports and Schedule Meetings With Them

Send your office service providers regular progress reports. You should set up a system in which both parties know the repercussions for complaints. If an incident happens numerous times, you should discuss whether the service provider should find a new team to work at your office. In the event that incidents happen frequently, it might be time to find a new company altogether to assist your company. However, termination terms should already have been agreed upon prior to the working relationship commencing. In addition to these reports, you should have a meeting with your service providers every few months. These in-person meetings should address bigger picture issues and be an opportunity for you to inform them of any abrupt changes or renovations. At the end of the day, your relationship with your office service providers rests upon transparent, thorough, and honest communication.

Or… Use Eden!

Eden helps you find the best service providers for your office. We work with certified, verified teams that can help you take your workplace to the next level. Try Eden today.