Many businesses use a traditional model of cleaning their facilities after hours when the janitorial staff won’t be encumbered by the routines of other employees and vice versa. But recently there has been a large shift towards changing this pattern in favor of cleaning during the day and for good reason. The benefits of daytime cleaning extend to both the business and the workers or tenants of the building.
Benefits include energy savings, safer work environments for both janitorial staff and other employees, higher efficiency, and better communication between staff. Through these benefits, businesses often find that they save money, time, and stress in their new work environment.
Because daytime cleaning reduces the total amount of time that people use the services of a building, it regularly leads to significant energy savings of 4-8 percent. Some companies even find much greater savings up to 28 percent, as is the case for the enormous 292,000 square foot Environmental Protection Agency facilities in Denver.
This savings is due to a decreased need for electricity and other services after hours when the cleaning crew would previously have needed them. But the amount of savings depends on the size of the facility and how resources were used before switching to daytime cleaning. A large facility with energy-guzzling HVAC systems that used to be on all day every day will see a huge jump in savings. On the other hand, a previously energy-conscious company that only used minimal resources for a few hours at night might not see a big difference.
You can find tools online to help you calculate your current energy usage as well as estimate future use with daytime cleaning. Whatever you find, remember that even 4 percent savings is a significant chunk of expenses to free up for other uses. And such an energy savings means further helping the environment while saving money in the process.
Improving Health and Safety
Daytime vs Nighttime Security
Apart from saving on electricity and building resource use, daytime cleaning may also lower your security budget. Many larger buildings maintain security services at any time that others are present in the building, including cleaning staff. So on a per-employee basis, those costs are shooting up during cleaning after hours. And if your company does not have security, then there may be a concern for the safety of the night cleaners being all alone during the night.
Changing their hours to the day with all of the other employees of the building present means they are less likely to be targets of or involved in nighttime incidents such as break-ins, theft, or even confrontations on the street as they are going home. Rather, the building can be entirely shut down and secured from closing until opening.
Less Harmful Products
Speaking of employee health and safety, something to consider is the need for green cleaning supplies and products. With non-cleaning staff filling the building at the same time that cleaning takes place, standard cleaning supplies would produce too much indoor air pollution. This pollution comes in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that travel through the air and interact with our bodies. Such interactions can produce both short- and long-term effects on health.
For example, VOCs from cleaning chemicals can contribute to allergic reactions, headaches, chronic respiratory problems, liver damage, and general symptoms of discomfort. These reactions may be more extreme and harmful for children or older people who have weaker immune systems. For this reason, buildings that frequently have young or old visitors should pay special attention to using safer products.
But the switch to safer green products is really something that should be done regardless of the type of building habitants or the time of day that cleaning occurs. In theory, night cleaning allows for the dispersal of airborne VOCs throughout the night. However, the indoor environment can make it difficult for them to fully disperse, and standard products still leave behind harmful residues and damaging wastes. Thus, for both day and night cleaning, green products are the safer and healthier option.
In addition to the products themselves, tools used to implement them might also need an upgrade. Be sure to consider the noise level of current tools such as vacuum cleaners, and think about finding quieter models that minimize disturbance of workers who may need a quiet work environment.
As the efficiency of energy use goes up, so too does the efficiency in cleaning. With day cleaning, the janitorial staff is available at a moment’s notice. If there is a spill or other accident, then it can immediately be taken care of without waiting until the end of the workday. Other routine tasks also receive more constant attention and maintenance throughout the workday, preventing the buildup of trash or dirt.
The workers or tenants of a building will surely appreciate this accessibility and lack of delay. The cleaning staff essentially become part of the group of daytime employees, allowing for ease of communication and relationship building that can improve the flow of the workplace. The day cleaners can pick up on routines and patterns with their fellow employees to enhance the efficiency of certain tasks.
Making the Change
To optimize this cohesion between day cleaning staff and other employees, creating a schedule and open communication channels is key. In fact, in all aspects, the transition will be the most difficult part of making the switch from night to day cleaning. But once you get past that hill it’s wide-open prairie.
As you work through the change, create a detailed schedule to help all parties adapt to the new system. Be sure to check in with the employees periodically to ensure they aren’t having any problems. If you encounter problems, adjust the system in increments until everything seems to be working smoothly.
Once everyone settles into the new system, the differences will be.. well, like night and day! With a quieter, cleaner, energy-saving program of daytime cleaning, your facility will surely run more smoothly than ever.