While a majority of BSCs clean their clients’ facilities after normal business hours—typically at night—many are now switching to day cleaning for a number of reasons. Outside of the environmental benefits due to reduced energy consumption and other factors, there are several additional positive effects for your clients, building tenants, and your staff when you move your cleaning operations to the daytime. That said, day cleaning does come with a few drawbacks, and it certainly won’t be feasible for every BSC or client to implement. Given this, the following items address both the positive and negative aspects of day cleaning to help BSCs make an informed decision about whether day cleaning is right for their businesses.
Day cleaning advantages
• Reduced energy bills: By cleaning during normal business hours, when a building’s lighting and HVAC systems are already in use, BSCs can help their clients achieve a significant reduction in their energy consumption, which not only helps the environment, but also saves them money. In fact, by switching your staff’s hours of operation from nighttime to daytime, it’s estimated that you can help save clients an average of four to six cents on energy costs per square foot of the facility being cleaned.
• Nature friendly: The decrease in energy use and light pollution made possible by switching to day cleaning not only affects interior environments, but it can also dramatically benefit the surrounding outdoor environment and its eco-system. “[The] switch to cleaning during the daylight hours… drastically reduces nighttime urban bird kills, especially during migratory seasons, and leaves the night sky as dark and sparkling as nature intended,” says Randy Burke, a leading day-cleaning consultant in the article “Clean Up with Day Cleaning” on www.buildings.com.
• Enhanced tenant satisfaction: According to Michele Lord, an expert on green real estate and a LEED Accredited professional, switching to day cleaning can give building tenants more peace of mind and enhance their relationships with cleaning crews. She notes that tenant complaints often drop dramatically once day cleaning is implemented, and furthermore, when tenants are able to see and interact with the cleaning staff, an increased sense of trust is formed. “Tenants report fewer incidents of doors left open by mistake and fewer thefts within the building,” says Lord. “Most express that they appreciate the chance to get to know the cleaning staff personally, which isn’t as possible on the nightshift.”
• Enhanced services: The amount of energy that is saved for clients because of the switch to day cleaning gives BSCs leverage when negotiating new contracts. To this end, BSCs can typically charge more for day cleaning services because of the considerations that go along with the enhanced level of service provided, such as working around building tenants, increased safety standards, and specialized cleaning equipment like low-noise vacuums.
• Decreased turnover: The turnover among nighttime cleaning crews is notoriously high—and not surprisingly. Working night shifts can be quite stressful on your staff for a variety of reasons. It’s not only difficult to adjust to flip-flopped sleeping schedules, but working in the evening often means sacrificing time normally spent with their families. Even more, public transportation is either scarce or non-existent at night in many places, so night-shift employees without reliable transportation can experience serious challenges. Given this, moving to day cleaning can result not only in decreased turnover, but also increased morale among your staff, which should ultimately improve their overall performance.
Day cleaning challenges
• Safety risks: With the added presence of “civilians” during working hours, safety automatically becomes an even more pressing concern. Staff must be constantly vigilant for possible hazards, including loose power cords, wet surfaces and spills, and noxious chemicals and/or fumes. It doesn’t matter how much money you save a building owner on energy bills, if a tenant gets injured due to your crew’s carelessness, you’re going to be in serious trouble.
• Tenant concerns: The added safety concerns and the fact that your staff will be visible to building tenants means that you will likely have to take another look at your employees to ensure they are a good fit for daytime operations. For example, you might have have to update your crew’s training with new safety protocols, upgrade their uniforms/personal appearance, and perhaps even hire a higher caliber of staff to ensure they can safely and congenially interact with building tenants.
• Transition time: Making the move to day cleaning can be a challenging transition for both your staff and building tenants, so make sure that the switch is not a surprise for anyone. Be sure to inform and prepare your staff for whatever changes they will have to make to safely and effectively do their jobs during daylight hours. Additionally, make sure you give all building occupants plenty of notice regarding your new hours, and try to proactively address any issues or concerns that they might have. Give tenants at least a month’s notice of your new hours, and offer to meet with them to discuss any effects it will have on them. Make sure you do everything you can to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.