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How to Clean Your Office After the Builders Have Been

London offices are always undergoing building work or renovation of some kind. Even if your office building is not subject to any construction work directly, you can bet that there is some work going on nearby which is creating dust and noise. Most office managers in London know that they will have to face some building work here and there during their time in charge.

Usually, this means making reasonable adaptations to the way in which you and your staff go about their daily business, but it is not often greatly onerous. You might need to access your building from a temporary entrance for a while or to keep your windows shut while noisy works are being undertaken. However, one of the things you will need to consider is what you do about clearing up after nearby builders have finished. Most building contractors will make an effort of cleaning their site after works have been completed, but this is rarely good enough for professional places of work which rightly demand a high standard of cleanliness.

 

After Builders Cleaning

There is little doubt that even the most conscientious of building contractors will leave a mess after they have left a site. Where old buildings have been knocked down to accommodate new construction works, an incredible amount of dust can be created which will work its way into your office through the ventilation system, through opened windows and by being trodden in as members of staff enter and leave the building. Even if we are talking about much less dramatic works being conducted, such as a refit of a neighbouring office, then tradespeople like carpenters, electricians and plumbers will all contribute to dust and dirt building up.

Even smaller works undertaken in your own offices whilst employees are working there can create unwanted grime. Running a new network cable or installing extra electrical outlets will frequently mean drilling, which, in turn, creates airborne particles which need to be cleaned. If you don’t, then the level of particles that are floating around in your office will increase and this has a negative impact on your team members’ ability to breathe well. If they can’t, then you will see more people taking time off work sick with a resulting drop in productivity. Equally, building dust that settles on workstations makes employees feel that they are working in a poor environment and they can sometimes seek opportunities elsewhere, as a result. Avoid these problems by taking after builders cleaning seriously.

 

Hire Expert Cleaning Contractors

Rather than rely on your existing cleaning contractors who might only be capable of day-to-day cleaning, bring in specialists in order to do a good clean up after the builders have been.

In order to complete after builders cleaning, London office managers should look for a firm with specialist equipment and personnel which can remove ground-in grime that is left following construction works. Seeking out a cleaning business with ISO9001 accreditation is a good start, as is finding one with the correct COSHH training for cleaning staff who might need to operate near a building site. After builders cleaning is not a run-of-the-mill job if you want a thorough level of cleanliness which will return your office to the state it was in before the works took place. As such, you really do need to hire a fully professional cleaning firm.

 

How to Run Your Office’s Facilities Smoothly

Office managers in London have a never-ending list of responsibilities and many struggle to run their facilities smoothly. With the demands of office staff constantly changing and the building developing new challenges as time passes, it can be hard to stay organised.

In any enterprise that is growing, more and more demands will be placed on you. it is therefore worth taking a second to review how you are currently doing things and assess if any improvements can be made to stay better organised and make your job easier.

 

Cleaner Office & Boosted Productivity

Without a clean office, workers will soon start looking elsewhere for employment opportunities. Plus, a clean office has been proven to increase the productivity of employees. That is why it essential to get the right contractors in place who are flexible enough to meet changing requirements. Everyone knows managers are busy people, make sure you look at exactly what you’re getting from your current contractor, could you be getting more out of them and making more of your time?

Linking back for one of our previous blog posts, “Benefits of a Clean Office Environment in Boosting Productivity” a cleaner office means less sickness and that means less people feeling sluggish or taking sick days off. Also shared surfaces such as telephones, photocopiers and other equipment will be clear of bacteria giving it no chance to spread.

Nowadays offices are modernising and evolving to use greener cleaning products keeping not only staff healthier, but also delivering on your commitments to recycle adequately. Why settle for a contractor which does a fair job when you could hire one which makes workers proud to turn up to their office each morning? It might be time to revise that part of your business. However, one common objection to this shift towards cleaner contractors is often the price. There is a misplaced conception that green cleaners are cheaper than others, but this is often not the case. For instance, here at Green Facilities we make sure we offer more value for the same price as other cleaning contractors.

Green cleaning can improve air quality, as these products don’t release toxic fumes that harsh chemicals do. Though this isn’t the only reason that Londoners are breathing in polluted air every day, it can help improve the air quality of your office. According to work undertaken by King’s College London, some 2,411 hospital admissions a year in the capital are down to airborne pollutants.

 

FREE RESOURCE: download the free guide on “10 Key Factors to Consider Before Signing an Office Cleaning Contract”

 

Choosing The Right Suppliers

Make sure you know what your suppliers offer, are their packages flexible to best suit your needs? Can they manage multiple aspects of your office? For example, Green facilities covers everything from cleaning & recycling, to consumable office supplies and even office plant care! We will also be offering PAT testing in the near future. This is a massive benefit for busy office managers who don’t have time to interact with an endless list of specific suppliers, but just deal with a selected few.

When it comes to money we all want value for our money. You want to make sure every pound spent is on a quality service that covers all ends of your office, relieving stress so that you in turn can be more productive. You have many things to manage, therefore you should feel confident leaving your supplier to do their job efficiently so you don’t have to follow them up all the time.

 

Stay Organised

Staying organised isn’t always easy, in the city things go a million miles an hour and you need to make sure that you keep up. According to MapCon, as a facilities manager you have endless responsibilities and keeping all of them under control ranks up there as one of the toughest challenges for people in your role. Your organisation style has to work for you as well as the people in your office. You should have one centralised location for things in the office such as files, supplies, electronics and more to keep things simple. Finding a way to get your colleagues onboard in keeping everything organised is the key to keeping everything in check as it will be easier to locate what you need and when you need it.

This goes for online files as well, using a mutual code / way of naming particular files so that they can be searched for and located at the tap of a button. It is a cycle with a lot of little puzzle pieces, each being you and your co-workers. If all co-workers follow the new system and keep up their responsibilities, then you can remain confident that everything will work out flawlessly.

 

The Real Difference Between Traditional and Green Cleaning Products

A truly green company understands that, in order to really be defined as that, it’s important that all aspects of the business are environmentally-friendly, like the cleaning. London is full of large offices, used by dozens, or even hundreds of people, who have often travelled a long way across the city. Such buildings quickly become insanitary without effective cleaning. Illnesses can spread and productivity is affected. Meanwhile, customers arriving on the premises do not receive the best possible first impression. So the question we want to address today is: are green cleaning products as effective as traditional ones?

 

 

FREE RESOURCE: download our free guide to creating a cleaner and greener office, with a handy printable checklist at the end

 

Normal Cleaning Products vs Green Cleaning Products

Extremely clean hard surfaces are the goal for any good cleaning company. This is because very clean surfaces make it harder for dirt, bacteria, yeasts, and other undesirables to stick to that surface.

Achieving extremely clean hard surfaces traditionally involves a two-step process: cleaning, which means the removal of visible dirt, followed by disinfecting. This latter stage typically involves the use of biocides, which target bacteria. Unfortunately, just as antibiotic resistance has developed, so bacteria can also become resistant to biocides. This problem, coupled with the time, labour, and cost associated anyway with this two-stage process, enhances the case for the use of alternative products.

Oleonix Ltd is an example of a manufacturer offering a solution to this quest and one that we use and provide to our clients. Its products use micriolysis. This is a process in which the product’s active agents are able chemically to penetrate dirt, and break the physical bonds holding that dirt to a hard surface. The loosened dirt is then easily removed without the need for biocides.
Oleonix Solutions are eco-safe. They do not include phosphates, petroleum solvents, caustics, peroxides, hypochlorates, and they have a zero VOC-emission rate. Certified non-toxic and food safe, they can be used on any surfaces, including those associated with food preparation, without risk to human health.

 

Using the Right Microfibre

The right cleaning solution, even a green one, needs the right application tool. Microfibres are popular, but they are not all created equal. Some are more durable than others, and user comfort varies between types. Concept Microfibre mop frames and handles are ergonomically designed, with the aim of eliminating user repetitive strain injury. They can be paired with three different mop “heads”, each intended for different cleaning jobs. Each type is guaranteed for 1000 washes.

Similarly, there are a variety of microfibre cloths for the green cleaner to choose from. The non-abrasive type can be used dry, or with Oleonix, and on any surface. A second type is double-sided: a plain side absorbs dirt, while an “Energy Mechanically Reinforced”, or EMR, striped side works with Oleonix to remove tough, ingrained dirt. For the toughest jobs, there are the “heavy duty high absorbent microfibre cloths”. As the name implies, they are extremely absorbent. They are also pleasingly durable, lasting 400-500 washes.

 

10 Key Factors To Consider Before Signing An Office Cleaning Contract (FREE GUIDE)

It can be daunting when tasked with select the right cleaning contractor from the many thousands available in big cities such as London. However the ten points below should help you feel like you can make more of a confident and educated decision when you’re awarding this vital service contract.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE “10 KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE SIGNING AN OFFICE CLEANING CONTRACT”

In this guide you will read about 10 points that you should consider before signing up a new cleaning contractor, such as: 

  • What are the key questions you should ask?
  • What memberships and certifications should they have?
  • How should your cleaning package be structured?

By the time you are finished you will have a clear idea on whether the cleaning contractor you are evaluating is the right fit for your business, in terms of values, credentials, insurance, safety and so much more.

Is Your Business Really Green? 5 Ways To Tell

Many companies in London would like to be green and certainly do their best to achieve this, especially as being seen to be environmentally-friendly by others can increase business. Also, it is said that employees who work in such an environment are much happier, leading to greater productivity. So, the important question is – how green is your company? Here are 5 tips on how to ensure that your business can genuinely be described as a green one in order to boost your profile.

 

FREE RESOURCE:  download our free guide to creating a cleaner and greener office, with a handy printable checklist at the end

 

1. Reduce Waste, Reuse and Recycle

Most workplaces in London generate a lot of waste, especially paper. A simple way to become greener is to do as much as possible electronically. Also, it is better to print on both sides of the paper when a hard copy is essential. An ample amount of recycling bins should be strategically placed, not just for paper, but plastic and metal too.

 

2. Only Print When Absolutely Necessary

Do you think before you print? Do you really need to print? It goes without saying that sometimes it is essential to reproduce documents and letters, but now that we can view, read and store information online, we are able to not only save electricity, but paper and ink too. Pages that have only been printed on one side – encourage employees to use the blank side for notes and telephone messages.

 

3. Change Light Bulbs

It is essential to provide good lighting in any workplace as anything inadequate will reduce productivity and can damage employees eyesight. Be sure to install energy saving light bulbs as, not only will they save you money as they last longer than traditional ones, they are also much better for the environment. The two main types of energy efficient lighting are LEDs, (Light Emitting Diodes) and CFLs, (Compact Fluorescent Lamps).

 

4. Think About Electricity

If you are not using it, then turn it off. This applies to all equipment that doesn’t need to boot up through working hours. Ensure that all electrical items such as lighting, computers and photocopiers are switched off at the end of the day – do not leave anything on standby.

 

5. Green cleaning contractor or cleaning products

One thing that companies often forget when trying to be more environmentally-friendly is cleaning. Are your cleaning contractors green? Just because you outsource your cleaning it doesn’t mean that aspect can avoid being green, especially if you truly want people to see your organisation as that. You want to check that your cleaning contractors are certified as environmentally-friendly, and the products they use are not made of harsh chemicals that harm the planet. If they aren’t certified, then it might be time to switch!

5 Reasons Why you Should Choose a Green Cleaning Contractor

Cleaning contractors are increasingly engaged with the demands of their ‘green’ customers to provide ever more environmentally friendly services. Although many are slowly moving with the times and integrating green approaches to office cleaning in their day-to-day practices, some are already well-established as eco-conscious companies that are ready to do their bit for the environment. Thinking of appointing a new cleaning contracting firm? Here’s why you should opt for one with impeccable green credentials.

 

FREE RESOURCE: download our free guide to creating a cleaner and greener office (with a free bonus checklist at the end)

 

1. Your Brand and Mission Statement

Many businesses are engaged with how their environmental policies reflect on their public image. In corporate headquarters, good work in the field can be undone by appointing cleaning firms that don’t understand the need for a green way of operating. Your corporate mission statement might easily be breached if your choice of cleaners is not an environmentally-engaged company. In other words, if your businesses is branded as one that is environmentally friendly, then you had better make sure that your cleaners are also on board or your brand will soon become tarnished.

2. Better Cleaning

There is something of a myth about certain green cleaning products in so far as they are sometimes considered to be not quite as good as the leading brands. However, this is not the case. When dirt builds up on the upholstered surfaces of an office space, such as the carpets and computer chairs, there is a surface tension which is created in the fabric. This resists standard cleaning agents and means that removing stains takes more manual effort. In some cases, normal cleaning products will only be able to partially remove stains and spillages.

However, micriolysis – a process which is encouraged by many green cleaning agents – breaks down the aforementioned surface tension. This, therefore, means that soiled upholstery can be brought back to a good-as-new state with minimal effort. As a result, general cleaning contractors can keep carpets and chairs in mint condition using green cleaning products, without the need for specialist sub-contractors and stain removers.

3. Green Disinfection

When it comes to removing germs from key areas of an office, such as the toilet and kitchen facilities, green disinfection products also offer benefits. Firstly, many of them are produced for working with agricultural machinery and food processing plants so that soil contamination is minimised from potentially harmful agents, like bleach. Preventing accidental consumption of these agents, for example when they’ve been used on food preparation work tops, green disinfection products do a superb job but without harming people. This is a particular issue when drinking water taps are wiped over with disinfectants and then used by office workers to get a drink soon afterwards.

4. VOC Free

Most green cleaning products are free from volatile organic compounds. VOCs are organic chemicals which create a high level of vapour pressure at office temperature and can therefore be breathed in easily. By avoiding them, green cleaning contractors make your office much better for everyone to work in, especially if they suffer from any sort of respiratory condition, such as asthma.

5. Longer Lasting

A good number of cleaning products are packed with chemicals that have an instant effect on office cleaning but don’t last that long. Indeed, some achieve effects that wear out in a matter of hours. On the other hand, many green cleaning products are designed with naturally long-lasting and friendly ingredients. As a result, their effect can sometimes last for days.


Sources

The guardian
Wikipedia
Cantol

 

Benefits of a Clean Office Environment in Boosting Productivity

Can a cleaner environment in London’s many offices really boost productivity? Yes, it can and here’s why…

Bacterial Infection

Workspaces are shared environments and this means that infections can spread around them like wildfire. If just one employee turns up to work with a bacterial infection during the right phase of its life cycle, then it can be passed on to dozens more. However, sick people continue to turn up to work even if they know they ought to stay at home, exacerbating the problem. Cleaning deals with much of the loss of productivity that might be expected of a contagion being brought into the office.

Most bacteria don’t do us much harm and the ones that do are not very long-lived outside of the body. However, infections inevitably pass on because people handle the same things in an office soon after one another. Equipment like telephones, photocopiers and computer terminals cannot be quarantined. Therefore, they need to be wiped down regularly with anti-bacterial cleaning products. If cleaning in the office space is done frequently, then workers catch bacterial infections from one another much less regularly, thereby reducing the number of sick days a business will suffer from

 

FREE RESOURCE: download our guide to a cleaner and greener office, with a bonus checklist at the end >

 

Air Quality and Commercial Cleaning in London’s Offices

London may be one of the greatest cities on the face of the planet to live and work in, but there are a couple of things that irk all of us in the capital. Congestion is a big issue for people who need to get to their office on time in the morning, and related to this is air quality. Vehicles and other pollution sources in the city mean that many Londoners suffer from respiratory problems. According to work undertaken by King’s College London, some 2,411 hospital admissions a year in the capital are down to airborne pollutants.

Now, office managers who are responsible for cleanliness in the workplace can do little about the outside air quality, but they can certainly make their internal working environment free from airborne particulates, such as common dust, and thereby improve productivity. Not only will employees want to stay in the office environment without heading out for extended periods, certainly during hazy days, but they are also less likely to report in sick due to respiratory problems. Anyone with an underlying respiratory condition may really need a good level of air quality in the office to prevent a minor health issue becoming a major one. This means maintaining your air-conditioning system, but also dealing effectively with microbes and breathable particles that build up on desks, floors, workstations and office telephones.

Employee Respect

When staff members feel they are getting a raw deal, they just don’t work to their full potential. It is human nature to cut a few corners or take the easier path when you feel that your employer is not looking after you. Of course, gaining the respect of employees comes down to many factors including pay, holiday entitlement and terms and conditions. Crucially, it will also come down to the physical environment that work is conducted in. If windows are not cleaned and break out areas not swept for crumbs and other debris, staff members soon feel that they are not being looked after adequately.

Want to get the best out of your team and boost productivity? Keep their working environment spick and span. Hiring good staff in London, where the job market is more robust than anywhere else in the UK, is more costly than retaining the ones you already have. So, give them somewhere pleasant to work in. This approach to cleanliness and tidiness is nothing more than positive psychology that simply boosts morale.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/15/nearly-9500-people-die-each-year-in-london-because-of-air-pollution-study

The London Commercial Cleaning Sector in Brexit’s Wake

A recent survey by Reuters found that over 50% of UK businesses have been negatively influenced by Brexit. London is being especially hit hard, but many of the effects have been unexpectedly positive. More than 80% of the financial centre’s most thriving industries resisted an EU exit, but new freedom from tough regulations has given several industries more room to excel.

The Death of Legalism in the Commercial Cleaning Industry

Commercial cleaning businesses who were once beholden to REACH regulations can now operate without having to pour over a 526-page manual. If the situation were black and white, this would be a welcome change, but when it comes to commercial cleaning London is a complex marketplace bathed in shades of grey. Chemical policies and imports are patchy, and London’s cleaning companies are in a prime spot to gain competitive advantage purely because they have better access to stock. Businesses with their own stringent safety standards will be London’s most stable because they’ve never relied on foreign support to decide which chemicals they use.

The Economy

Brexit’s weak pound is ripe for investors. Many industries are using the slump to reinvest in their own growth. When it comes to sectors like commercial cleaning London is attracting surging profits. It’s risen to the number one spot on the PWC attractiveness indicators list, and its rentals are expected to sink, too. Savvy business owners are waiting patiently for better trade conditions.

The cleaning sector employs more foreigners than most, but generally pays far below minimum wage, so Brexit’s restriction of movement in and out of the UK might slow down businesses that are reliant on EU staff. Cleaning companies can go in one of two directions: they can rise or sink, and it’s only sound strategy and solid ethics that will decide which. Those based in London already have the upper hand because of their access to the city’s massive body of human capital. Businesses with the tactical know-how to support Brexit-based growth have rising success at their fingertips.

Environmental Law

London’s environmental law is going through a phase of uncertainty after Brexit. If the UK joins the EEA, little will change, but if not, there will be a long struggle before legislation will be set in stone. As yet, nobody knows how much deregulation will happen, so the only cleaning companies who are likely to remain on top throughout the shaky months to come are those who already hold themselves to respectable environmental standards. Those who ensure they’re always on an upward trajectory towards better green policies, techniques, and chemicals will be far more stable than their rivals.

For some, sourcing materials and equipment has become more difficult now that imports are less accessible. Businesses whose foundations have already been built will fend for themselves better.

Cleaning and You

Brexit has changed the way you choose your commercial cleaning company. A solid partner will:

  • Have safe, eco-friendly methods and chemicals.
  • Have access to London’s human assets and reduced rentals.
  • Have outstanding training and pay minimum wages.
  • Have existing ethics and stable policies.
  • Be sustainable with an existing recycling strategy.

Industries closely tied to local economies will have to make titanic changes to stay ahead of Brexit’s handicaps, but the cleaning sector relies on intelligent management above all else. It can untie itself entirely from the Brexit backlash and choose to rise on its wings instead.

Guide to a Cleaner & Greener Office (FREE GUIDE + Bonus Checklist)

We’re very excited to announce that we’re officially releasing a new FREE guide to help you with the green struggle at your office. The “Guide to a Cleaner & Greener Office” discusses the importance of having a green office and offers simple, actionable tips on how to take the first step in the right direction.


In this guide you will find:

  • 6 easy changes you can make right away.
  • Information on the latest eco-friendly cleaning technology.
  • A free bonus checklist of small changes you can implement to make your office greener.

Download it now by clicking on the link below to start making your office greener and cleaner!

4 Tips for Starting a Recycling Program in your Office

Nowadays we are all much more aware on the importance of recycling. A study published in the London Evening Standard at the end of 2016 showed that in many London boroughs over 50% of households and businesses take the time to recycle their waste properly. This was particularly the case in Bexley and Bromley, which have been dubbed the most recycling friendly boroughs in the capital (Kingston on Thames came a close third). However, there are still plenty of areas, such as Lewisham, that are still far behind in their recycling efforts, with just 19% of households and businesses bothering to recycle.

Here are some tips to start recycling more inside your office and do more for the planet and your city.

 

FREE RESOURCE: download the guide to a cleaner and greener office, full of practical tips and a printable checklist at the end >

 

1. Arrange for your recycling collection

One reason why many Londoners do not always recycle properly is the fact that recycling and arranging for the collection of your recycling takes time and effort. What you might not know is that there are some cleaning contractors who can also take care of your recycling. This has the advantage of not having to manage two contractors for your cleaning and recycling, and you can do your bit for the environment without the hassle.

 

Looking for an eco-friendly cleaner who can also take care of your recycling? Click here to get your free quote now!

 

2. Get your information straight

Recycling can be difficult to get your head around sometimes. Questions that confuse Londoners include the issue of whether plastic bottle caps can be recycled alongside the bottles themselves. And what about those cardboard coffee cups – are they recyclable alongside other cardboards? Ask your cleaning and recycling contractors for tips on this, and then print out some clear guidelines for everyone in the office to follow if they ever have a doubt.

 

3. Put the recycling bins in the right places

If your office is big, then having more than one recycling station would be a good idea, or, if possible, give a small recycling bin to every employee, so people have no excuse for not doing it. Also, be strategic about your placement of recycling bins. They should be in all places where the most trash is generated, like near printers and in the kitchen area/cafeteria. They also need to display clear signage indicating they are for recyclable materials only.

 

4. Encourage participation

The information should come from the top down, so the MD of the business should send around a notice explaining the new recycling program to everyone in the office. Make sure every worker in the office is aware of the program and its goals. You can also keep tracking the progress and share it with everyone, letting everyone know what they’ve helped to accomplish so far.

 

5 Top Tips to Help Keep the Office Clean

The benefits of a clean office extend far beyond the sense of well-being given by a well-organised, clutter-free working environment: increased productivity and higher levels of staff engagement will increase your profits as well. A hygienic and tidy office also gives visitors a good first impression of how the business is run.

Most office managers find that the best way to keep the office clean and tidy is to hire a professional cleaning contractor on a regular basis. However, in between their visits, there are several ways in which managers can encourage employees to keep the office a healthy and pleasant environment in which to work.

FREE RESOURCE: download the guide to a cleaner and greener office, full of practical tips and a printable checklist at the end >


1. Encourage hand washing

Around 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted around the office by touch so it is important that all members of staff understand the importance of regular hand washing. If there is room, try to install a touch-free soap dispenser and paper towels or warm air hand dryers in the kitchen and toilet to improve standards of hygiene.

 

2. Keep the kitchen tidy

Anyone who has ever worked in an office will know that the kitchen can sometimes become a problem area with dirty cups, overflowing bins and out of date food cluttering up the fridge. By drawing up a cleaning rota, you will make it clear who is responsible for cleaning certain areas on a given week, thus reducing conflict and stress and creating a pleasant environment for everyone.

 

3. Empty waste bins

Emptying bins every day is especially important when staff use them to discard food; they can quickly become smelly and sticky. When bins are emptied daily as part of the office routine, you will quickly notice an improvement in the office environment.

 

4. Declutter desk spaces

It’s easy to give a desk a quick wipe each evening to keep the work space tidy and dust-free but this is made much harder if the desk is cluttered. Try to build some time into the working day for staff to declutter desks so that they can take pride in keeping their office tidy.

 

5. Discourage eating at desks

It’s often convenient for staff to eat lunch at their desks but you should encourage them to eat elsewhere whenever possible. This will not only keep their desks and keyboards cleaner but will also give them the chance to take a proper break, increasing their productivity on their return. If eating at desks is really necessary, ensure that there is a supply of antibacterial wipes to hand so that employees can clean up any mess when they have finished lunch.

 

Five Questions to Ask Your Cleaning Contractor Before Hiring Them

Hiring a cleaning contractor your company can rely on is an important decision and can be a difficult task as there are so many things to consider. Cost is obviously an important factor but it isn’t the only one. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the most important questions to ask your cleaning contractor – the answers should reveal whether they are right for you.

1. Do they have any other cleaning contracts in the local area?

If they do have any other contracts nearby this is could be a positive sign for several reasons. Firstly, you could easily pay a quick visit to the other business and see if their cleaning seems to be of the required standard. It might also be possible to have a quick chat with the person in charge of managing the contract for some honest feedback. Finally, sites nearby to each other means it is relatively easy to arrange cover at short notice; for example, if one of your usual cleaners calls in sick.

2. Is all their paperwork in place?

The sign of a professional cleaning outfit is that they are fully up-to-date with current H & S and environmental legislation. Ask if they are accredited with either ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. Full liability and bonding insurance are, of course, vital for the safety and well-being of everyone concerned.
Ask what is their TUPE capability? This refers to the transfer of employee rights from one company to another. Finally, it’s always worth checking to see if the company is registered with a professional body, such as BICS – the British Institute of Cleaning Science or BIFM – the British Institute of Facilities Management.

3. What is their staff retention rate?

This is a clever question to ask. The cleaning industry as a whole has a very high turnover with the average length of time a member of staff is employed being 12 weeks. A company that has a higher than average retention rate is likely to be a reputable cleaning company that values its staff, treats them well and pays them fairly.

4. How much flexibility can they offer?

Ask what sort of service they can offer in the event of a cleaning emergency? A reputable company will be able to show you a copy of their service level agreement. You could also ask whether they offer any bespoke and flexible packages that could save you time and money.

5. What steps are they taking to be environmentally friendly?

Are the products they use eco-friendly? Do they have systems in place to reduce unnecessary waste? Do they try and buy local products? Cleaning can cause a lot of damage to the environment with harsh chemicals and disposable products. Small initiatives, such as using microfibre cloths rather than disposable ones, can help to make a difference.

 

These questions are just a starting point. There are many other points you could also raise, such as their approach in the event of a staffing problem. It is always worth taking the time to research into a new cleaning company and, hopefully, the results will see the beginnings of a long and happy working relationship.