Blog, Cleaning, Facilities Management

Why You Should Pay Cleaners Well and Pay More for Cleaning

Good cleaners are worth paying extra for. It is often said but rings true - you get what you pay for.

For many companies, it is difficult to know how much to pay cleaners. The number of open positions in the UK labour market has surpassed 1 million, breaking all previous records. This puts even more pressure on current employees to “pick up the slack” and on Facilities Managers to make sure that fundamental service delivery isn’t compromised because hiring new employees could take months.

Additionally, with so many Facilities Managers drastically reducing their front-of-house and reception crews at the beginning of the pandemic, there are even fewer general administrative resources available to fill up the gaps.

Organisations across the UK have found that outsourcing can not only help businesses compete in the competition for talent but also increase their agility, knowledge, infrastructure, and resources. 

Spend Money to Save Money

It may seem counterintuitive but in order to save money you have to spend money –  As mentioned you get what you pay for when hiring staff and good staff are worth their weight in gold.  

UK Cleaning Costs are Rising

We all know that prices are across the UK, we see it in everyday purchases. The reasons why costs are rising in the UK:

  • Pandemic legacy costs
  • The impact of Brexit
  • International conflicts such a in Ukraine
  • Price rises for supplies & equipment, such as cleaning products or mops
  • Business Liability insurance
  • Fuel and maintenance costs for your transport
  • Increases in national insurance rates
  • labour costs are increasing 
window cleaning

How has the cost of living crisis affected cleaners?

The cost of living crisis, also known as inflation, can have a significant impact on cleaners and other low-wage workers. Inflation refers to the general increase in prices of goods and services over time. When the cost of living rises, it can become more difficult for people to afford necessities such as housing, food, and healthcare. This can be especially challenging for workers who are already struggling to make ends meet, such as cleaners who may have low salaries or limited job security.

One way in which the cost of living crisis can affect cleaners is by reducing their purchasing power. If the cost of goods and services increases faster than wages, cleaners may find it difficult to afford the same level of necessities that they were able to afford previously. This can lead to financial strain and difficulty making ends meet.

Another way in which the cost of living crisis can affect cleaners is by making it more difficult for them to find affordable housing. As the cost of housing increases, cleaners may be forced to pay a larger portion of their income on rent or may need to move to less desirable areas in order to find affordable housing.

Overall, the cost of living crisis can be a significant burden for cleaners and other low-wage workers, and it is important for policymakers and employers to take steps to address this issue. 

Cleaners are Heroes

We’ve said before and we’ll shout it from the rooftops  – Cleaners are Heroes

It’s a sector that attracts a whole range of individuals, many of whom value the flexibility that commercial cleaning offers.  However, it’s still considered as a very manual and low-skilled profession that for many within it, barely scrapes over the minimum wage.  In light of the contribution being made by professional cleaners in the fight against Covid-19, there are many who will be championing a change of both perception and base salary for this industry.

While cleaners have traditionally been underestimated and regarded as unskilled employees, the pandemic has reminded us that they are critical to keeping our workplaces, schools, and communities safe for us to visit.

Covid-19 Showed How Valuable Cleaning Is

Because the recruitment pool has diminished dramatically as a result of the epidemic, COVID-19 has emphasised the essential need of attracting and maintaining good employees. Many international workers have returned to their home countries to assist in times of disaster, while others have accepted jobs in different industries and are hesitant to risk the upheaval of shifting jobs again.

person in blue gloves cleaning officelaptop computer

The Benefits of Paying Cleaners More 

1. High Productivity from Highly Skilled Cleaners

Cleaning is a strenuous task. It’d be understandable if we paid our commercial cleaners a minimal wage if they weren’t as dedicated to us as their business or the cleaning results they were giving.

We want our cleaning crews to be proud of the work they do and to feel confident in their roles. This is difficult to do if you feel undervalued and are concerned about how you will pay your bills.

We indicate to our cleaners that their labour is important by paying them a rate they can live on. They get more invested in their work when we do this. As a result, you will receive a higher-quality cleaning service.

We also continually invest in their training making sure our cleaners are the best they can be.

2. Recruiting The Best Cleaners

Commercial cleaning services recruitment is becoming a “seller’s market.” People that are efficient and dependable are in high demand in our business and many others.

If we want to hire and retain people who are committed to a career in the facilities services industry, we must pay them a competitive wage. That’s all there is to it. This ensures that your facilities are looked for by the best.

3. Retaining the best cleaning staff

According to The Living Wage Foundation’s report, 75% of participating organisations have noticed an increase in employee enthusiasm and retention.

Providing support and appreciation to staff means employers not only recruit the best employees but also keep them for longer. That can only be beneficial to customers, clients and users.

When an organisation prioritises retainment of staff then the average term of service is longer, engagement levels are higher and ultimately results are better. 

People have little motive to switch employers if they are treated and paid decently. As a result, they have more time to focus on honing their skills through experience and training programmes.

Well-paid personnel are more ready to go the extra mile for commercial cleaning clients in an emergency. Clients also receive a continuous high-quality cleaning service, which they wouldn’t be able to get if their facilities were cleaned by a new cleaning team every month – due to low worker turnover.

4. Build in resistance 

It can pay not to go for the cheapest option, by purchasing a higher quality service if something goes wrong there is room in the contract to adapt.

yellow and white star illustration

Cleaning Checklist:

Before you start asking for estimates from individual cleaners or cleaning businesses, go over the following checklist to be sure you’ve got everything in order:

  • Determine which areas of your office you want to be cleaned – you can have all of your office rooms, corridors, and toilets cleaned, or just the toilets and break rooms. Don’t forget to clean your windows!
  • Request three or four bids from cleaning businesses or people, with the expectation that they will want to inspect the job site. Make sure to ask what’s included in any quote they give you and don’t be afraid to specify if you don’t want particular rooms or electrical equipment included in the cleaning plan.
  • You should always ask a cleaning business or cleaner if they have insurance, especially if they will be in your office after hours. We advise you to decline any companies that are not correctly insured.
clean office

The Cheapest Quote Isn’t the Best

When acquiring quotes from individual and firm contractors, you’ll notice a wide range of rates, so make sure you figure out exactly what’s included in the quote to guarantee you’re getting the best deal.

Business office cleaning will include lots of value-added services such as monitoring, Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM), materials and professional equipment, so it is worth bearing in mind how much the person actually doing the cleaning will get paid.

The cheapest quote probably isn’t the best value for money – what has been left out and are they not paying the cleaner much to do the work – remember to analyse the pay-per-hour rates.

What Factors Influence Commercial Cleaning Prices?

When it comes to the final cost of a commercial office cleaning, several things will come into play. Being aware of these things provides you with a leg up on the competition when it comes to saving money on your budget.

Hours spent cleaning the office

Some businesses will offer package offers based on the number of cleaning hours required per week. This will be estimated during the site evaluation and could range from 10 to 70 hours per week, depending on the size of the workplace and the type of cleaning required.

Instead of paying for individual hours, you might save money by opting for a package offer. It’s a good idea to inquire about these types of packages from any firm or individual you’re considering hiring for commercial cleaning.

Cleaning Intensity Requirements

There will be a difference in the quantity of labour and thus the time required to clean office toilets on a regular basis and to meticulously clean, dust, and hoover every office room, including office decorations.

The more difficult the cleaning work is, the longer it will take to finish and the higher the job’s final cost will be.

Cleaning Supplies

The degree of quality of cleaning supplies required has altered as a result of the pandemic, and it is no longer acceptable to have a single mop and duster for each office room that needs to be cleaned.

You’ll need to ask any firm or individual you’re considering hiring if the cleaning materials they’ll use are included in their price for the work. It’s more likely that you’ll be obliged to provide your own cleaning supplies than have them provided for you.

If you are expected to provide cleaning materials, this is an additional expense that you should budget for and make sure you have all of the necessary items on hand, such as mops, dusters, vacuums, buckets, gloves, dustpans, and other cleaning supplies, as well as high-quality cleaning fluids and chemicals.

money saving

Pay More For Your Cleaning

We have found our success as a leading facilities management company has been in part down to how we manage people. They are fundamental to the successful delivery of cleaning services (and almost every other service). When comparing quotes, if you select a provider purely on price, ask ‘by paying so little, will I compromise on quality?’

We believe you will be saving your organisation a lot of hassle by paying your staff more and picking a provider like RFM Group who are property experts. 

A full glossary of cleaning terms can be found in RFM Group’s Industry Terms in Cleaning Glossary.

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