As children, we were told to “clean up your room!” Your teachers taught you that “neatness counts!” So it’s not surprising that many business managers adopt a do-it-yourself attitude toward cleaning their own establishments. However, there are many reasons that in-house cleaning services might not be a good idea.
For starters, consider that you will be responsible for selecting, and managing toxic and highly regulated cleaning chemicals. OSHA requires proper labeling of any chemical container and a binder of materials safety data sheets detailing hazards for each chemical. Even if you have been following these guidelines to the letter (which means not pouring cleaners into unmarked spray bottles, by the way), you may not be in compliance with a revamped set of rules that became effective on December 1, 2013.
Non-cleaning professionals may tend to use all-purpose cleansers—not knowing that professionals employ specialized chemicals for specific purposes. Or they may assemble a conglomeration of chemicals at a janitorial supply and then use them improperly. Acids are generally preferred for restrooms, alkalines for the rest of the office. If you accidentally use a restroom cleanser on an expensive marble surface in your reception area, permanent damage may result.
You also may not have access to the latest cleaning technology, such as green cleaning methods which have health benefits for employees. Are you using high-filtration backpack vacuums and “Green Seal” certified disinfectants? If not, or if you don’t know why these practices are beneficial, then you’re missing an opportunity to maintain an environmentally friendly workplace.
But perhaps most important are the hidden costs and headaches of supporting a janitor. If your company is large enough to justify a full-time janitor, you still have to recruit, train and manage that person. Janitorial turnover can be high, so you may end up advertising, interviewing and making a selection for a replacement periodically.
Smaller companies are more likely to rotate janitorial tasks among their regular staff. That means you’re assigning additional work to an already busy and valued employee—a strategy that can hardly be good for morale. Nobody likes it when it’s their turn to clean the restrooms and break rooms—and nobody likes using such a room after a cleaning by someone who was not motivated.
To sum up, do-it-yourself office cleaning isn’t quite as bad as performing your own dentistry or taking out your own appendix, but there are some real negatives to consider. After you consider the options, you may want to turn the responsibility over to someone who knows how to do it and is happy to be of service—your local Vanguard Cleaning Systems® franchise owner.