The Bright Side of Day Cleaning
This article appears in the March, 2014 issue of Canadian Property Management
The Bright Side of Cleaning
Daytime Scheduling Cuts Costs, Boosts Productivity
By Philip M. Clementino
A well-planned and executed day-cleaning program can reduce operating costs, increase tenant satisfaction and benefit the environment. Reducing or even eliminating requirements for after-hours lighting helps to cut energy costs, prevent bird collisions and mitigate light pollution, while a daytime shift can improve the productivity of cleaning staff and ultimately enhance customer service.
A day-cleaning program can reduce overall building energy consumption by 4% to 8% depending on existing building systems, translating in lower operating costs and heightened asset value. This can also support LEED, ENERGY STAR or BOMA BESt certification as day-cleaning contributes to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and qualifies as an efficient management procedure.
Corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) is increasingly important and mandated in tenants’ corporate governance. For building owners/managers, day-cleaning programs can be part of a package of green features and services that will position them to attract and retain tenants committed to sustainable business practices.
Recent statistics indicate that as many as a billion migratory birds are killed every year across North America due to nighttime collisions with brightly lit buildings. Initiatives such as the Fatal Light Awareness Program work to remind managers of the hazards and encourage alternative approaches.
Other impacts of light pollution can affect humans. Health studies draw links between excess light at night and altered brain chemical production that may factor into metabolic disorders or cancer. Meanwhile, from the cleaning staff’s perspective, there is much evidence that day-cleaning offers a healthier and safer work environment.
A well-executed day-cleaning program should have minimal impact on the day-to-day routines of building tenants. Vacuums with lower noise output, high-quality janitorial carts and strategic use of signage to inform tenants when cleaning staff are working in a washroom, all help to limit disruption.
Cleaners perform better when they work in natural light and are able to see the office as tenants see it during the day. Day-cleaners are also able to receive instant feedback on what the tenants’ needs are for any specific area of the buildings and can immediately attend to issues that arise.
Good communication and training in customer service are essential to an effective day-cleaning program. Well-trained day cleaners understand to avoid offices when they are waved off and do not disturb papers or the work going on in an office.
Improved morale and job satisfaction among cleaning staff has flow-through impacts for clients, who can benefit from better security and the continuity that comes with reduced staff turnover. Daytime shifts typically improve workers’ quality of life, while opportunities for more interaction with tenants can increase pride in their work. Tenants likewise gain familiarity with the service providers in their buildings, and are more apt to think of them as individuals rather than an unknown presence infiltrating their workspace at night.
The Healthy High Performance Cleaning (HHPC) Day certification program offers another measure of assurance for building owners/managers and tenants. Developed by the janitorial/sanitation solutions provider, Sealed Air Diversey, it establishes best practices for day-cleaning services and has achieved third-party certification from the Greenguard Environmental Institute.
The HHPC program’s comprehensive print and on-line training materials provide instructions for working in tenant spaces with minimal interruption using the most environmentally safe cleaning solutions. This has achieved Greenguard’s highest rating for minimizing the effect of the cleaning program on indoor air quality, deemed safe for use in healthcare facilities and schools.
Philip M. Clementino is Executive Vice President of Hallmark Housekeeping Services Inc., currently the only Canadian janitorial services company certified as a HHPC Day Contractor. For more information, see the website at http://hallmarkhouse.staging.wpengine.com/