Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Save Money On Your Janitorial Costs With Team Cleaning

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 @ 05:36 PM


Specialization Beats Generalization Every Time

Just because you can do everything doesn’t mean that you can do everything well. Like with many other things, statistics bear out that specialization in cleaning services is better and more efficient than generalization. So team cleaning, or cleaning where duties are grouped and performed by a specific team member throughout the building, are significantly more effective than zone cleaning, or cleaning where one person cleans one area taking on a multitude of tasks.

The more duties you give to a single cleaner, the more likely they are to forget tasks or do some tasks poorly. Especially in bigger, more complex facilities, cleaning by zone or floor can result in a single cleaner doing many different tasks, all with their own supplies and equipment resulting in higher equipment costs and less effective cleaning.

Cleaning like this, also known as zone cleaning, each cleaner is required to carry all the required equipment for each task and often causes problems with storage and maintenance all while adding to cost to the service as a result of lost labor hours.


When it Comes to Large Facilities, Team Cleaning is Your Best Bet

While some smaller facilities really only need a single cleaner, team cleaning is often a better solution for medium to large sized buildings. Team cleaning has significant efficiency and cost advantages opposed to single cleaners in larger areas. With team cleaning, a single individual handling a small group of tasks with the specialized equipment for it will perform better and use fewer labor hours reducing costs. There are further cost savings because employee training is more focused and efficient, managing and evaluating work is easier and there are reduced costs associated with equipment maintenance and storage.


Team Cleaning Is Better For Your Facility & Better For Your Budget

If you are in a budget crunch, you are not alone. Fortunately, team cleaning not only improves cleaning, it can help reduce costs. With team cleaning, individual cleaners perform a small set of tasks all throughout your facility. This might mean only dusting or only emptying trash cans while another person exclusively wipes down counters and windows or cleans restrooms. Many of these teams include a number of specialists depending on the size and needs of your facility. This specialization of cleaning duties helps reduce cross-contamination and also insures that the task is done the right way, every time. This also makes quality control a lot more straight forward because what each person is responsible for is crystal clear. Having a single person vacuum  your entire facility as opposed to a team of many juggling the task between each other is always going to be more efficient. Similarly, one person vacuuming means one vacuum, less equipment cost, maintenance and storage.


Reducing Janitorial Costs Means Reducing Labor

In the service industry the highest costs come from labor. So if you want to reduce costs, you have to reduce the amount of labor hours needed. This has always been the case, but an increase to minimum wage in Michigan coupled with changes to healthcare requirements and coverage have compounded such costs to make commercial cleaning more costly than before. The next most expensive category in the cleaning industry is equipment. If a cleaning service is able to effectively combat those costs, a lot of their savings will get passed along to you. Team cleaning is one of the best ways to do this as it minimizes labor hours and the amount of required equipment without sacrificing the quality of you cleaning. How do they do this? Here's a list:

  • Easier training results in cleaners quickly ready to do THEIR set of tasks well.
  • Reduced onboarding cost of employees means lower costs to you the customer.
  • Efficient use of required labor hours means reduced overall costs.
  • Ease of supervision as accountability is straight forward.
  • Absences easier to cover with more specialized task training.
  • Team cohesion as everyone understands his or her responsibilities.
  • Easy customization to the needs of your individual facility.
  • A higher quality of cleaning performed in less time saving you labor hours and cost.
  • Fewer equipment costs/servicing resulting in lower costs for you the customer.
  • The more simple the system, the greater chance of sticking with it.
  • Directives and outcomes like Cleaning for Health & Smart Cleaning are more likely.
  • Better bottom line for both janitorial companies and their customers.


Don’t Settle for a Company that Doesn’t Care

If you aren’t completely happy with the quality and price of your current janitorial services provider, than it may be time to start looking for a new one. Any company that makes a conscious effort to offer industry best practices including Team Cleaning, Smart Cleaning and looking for alternatives to save you the customer time and money is going to be a better partner than your average service provider.

Here at Stathakis, we deliver consistent, responsive, effective service and real value for businesses all over southeastern Michigan. With over thirty years in business, we have developed a standard of service delivery that works, just ask our customers. We work hard to create lasting partnerships and offer the businesses of southeastern Michigan the quality, cost-effective janitorial services they deserve. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, and surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or a janitorial company, please contact us to learn more about how we can help make your job at least a little easier and make your facility shine.

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Tags: Industry Best Practices

Office Cleaning & the Risks of Cross-Contamination

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 06:09 PM

office cleaning, cross contamination, detroit office cleaning

Aren’t Cleaning Companies Supposed to Make Your Facility Cleaner?

The whole point of a commercial cleaning service is to make your facility clean and visibly appealing, not to make it dirtier, right? Yet all too often we see janitorial companies through poor methods and a lack of standards, simply spreading bacteria around your facility. One of the leading causes of illness in the workplace is cross-contamination, and if your cleaning service is not using a color-coded cleaning cloth system to prevent it, they are ignoring industry best practices. Your employees are going to all be touching the same surfaces such as computer mice, door handles and phones, so when you commercial cleaning company comes and uses a rag to clean one of those surfaces and then somewhere else, they are spreading the hotspot of bacteria around your building. We all know that touching a commonly touched surface can be a one way ticket to getting sick, so imagine what a filthy towel or rag can do. It only takes one rag being used in the restroom and then somewhere else to start a pandemic in your office. The last thing you need is lower productivity, higher absenteeism, and even the risk of higher turnover rates. Your commercial cleaning company choosing not to protect you and your employees health by ignoring the best janitorial practices is a major red flag and it might be time to start looking for a new cleaning company if this is the case.


Is Your Office Cleaning Company Using the Same Rag to Wipe the Toilet & Your Lunch Tables?

It so easy to pick up the office phone or use the mouse at your desk without thinking what might be lingering on it. Help reduce the risk that these simple actions get your employees sick by having your cleaning service invest in a colored rag system to reduce cross-contamination. Not only is it an easy and affordable solution to implement, designating tools like rags and mop heads for specific jobs is a great way to prevent cross-contamination in your facility. It is a relatively simple concept, you assign a color like red to rags used in high risk areas, yellow to lower risk areas like sinks and mirrors, blue for general cleaning such as dusting and green for anything food related. Of course you don’t have to pick these colors but by having a clear visual indication of what should be used where you help drastically reduce cross-contamination in your facility to prevent the flu and other illness all throughout your facility.


It Is Simple, Cheap & Effective, What Is Not to Love?

Color coded tools aren’t some secret technique, they have long been a staple of proper janitorial cleaning and if you cleaning company is choosing to ignore it you aren’t getting the quality of service you deserve. It's easy to use and costs almost nothing so there is no excuse not too. Cross-contamination is a real problem and contributes to reduced productivity and absenteeism as well as employee turnover. So, make sure that your cleaning company has a clear visual coding system to protect you from said cross-contamination. It will help keep your facility cleaner and provide for a much healthier workplace without affecting your budget.


New System Needs New Trainings

Often it is the case the implementing a new system requires time to train employees with. This isn’t the case for the color-coded towel system. It simplifies the cleaning process and can make it much easier to know what to use where. It does, however, require some reinforcement and supervision. It may be a good idea to provide a chart for which color goes where so that it can be easily checked and there is no room for error. Most office cleaning companies want to protect the health of your facility and this strategy is a clear and simple way to do it. Color coded towels and cloths can even offer employees a sense of responsibility and engagement by enlisting them in the fight to safeguard the health of your facility’s occupants.


Accountability Is Key

The color coded rag system can help reduce work for your cleaning staff as well as provide a powerful tool for management. Having brightly colored rags and other tools allow you to quickly get a sense of if individual teams are cleaning as you expect. By simply looking at laundry, you can see how much of each area is getting cleaned and get a general sense of what takes the longest and what isn’t as time consuming. For instance, if you notice a drop off in the number of red mop heads you’ll know that something happened with bathroom cleaning and can follow up to make sure that there are no issues that need to be corrected. While this isn’t the only quality assurance system that should be in place, it can be a powerful tool to keep your cleaning teams on track.


Partner With a Company that Takes Health & Safety Seriously

Using a color-coded cleaning system may be a new way of doing things for your commercial cleaning company, but it is a strict improvement to your cleaning system. Not only is it an easy to learn system, it should be relatively inexpensive while safeguarding the health of your building. There is no facility that would not benefit from having a color coded rag system. Everything from medical cleaning to school cleaning to office cleaning are exposed to the risk of cross-contamination and therefore need a way to reduce it. Help control illness in your facility and get the level of service you deserve from your janitorial cleaning company and implement a color coded cleaning system. Stathakis, we use the color-coded cloth system company wide in an effort to further reduce the risk of cross contamination and systemize efficient, health conscious cleaning practices.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning

Rising Minimum Wage Could Spell Disaster For Janitorial Service's Costs

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 @ 11:58 AM


michigan minimum wage, detroit janitorial companies, detroit office cleaning companies

How Michigan’s Rising Minimum Wage Will Change Janitorial Pricing

In the state of Michigan, legislation has pushed up the minimum wage resulting in the small but impactful raise from $8.15 in 2015 to $8.50 in 2016 to $8.90 in 2017 to $9.25 which went into effect January of 2018, and now again $9.45 for 2019 starting in late March. This is all while the federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour. As an industry that is largely pinioned on its employee base, pricing can be severely impacted by an increase in such costs. While we can try to absorb these changes to limit the impact on your business, it is easy to see how challenging manage operational cost increases without passing along some of this price to you, the customer. That being said, you as the Facility Manager are still under pressure to keep your janitorial budgets under control. Let's look at a couple of ways that commercial cleaning companies are responding to higher labor costs to make sure that your cleaning budget isn’t further impacted while maintaining an effective level of service. For many of the most experienced, consistent, effective cleaning companies, it is a combination of some of the industry's best practices like:


The Difference Between Team Cleaning & Zone Cleaning

Team cleaning has been demonstrated again and again to be strictly more efficient than the traditional zone cleaning. To zone clean is to divide a building up into areas, assigning a specific cleaner or cleaning team to each respective area. While this may seem like a common sense approach to cleaning it can present a couple of problems, namely duplication and specialization. Take for example the process of cleaning one floor, it must be vacuumed or mopped (or both), dusted, surfaces cleaned, trashes emptied, and restrooms cleaned. This requires a large amount of equipment, consumables, and other products for each cleaner to do their job. Further, to properly complete these tasks, each cleaner must be familiar with the specifics of each task that goes into cleaning a whole section of a building. This is a challenging task and can often lead to incorrectly completed work. Team cleaning instead sends a group of people, each with assigned tasks to do throughout a facility. Each person is a specialist in their own right working on one specific item or process for each room. This way, each individual is better trained in their task and doesn't have to move large amounts of equipment from room to room helping to increase efficiency and decrease overall cost. Similarly, if you have a vacuum specialist, a floor cleaning specialist and a restroom specialist, for example, you do not have to outfit each individual cleaner with the equipment and supplies to do a variety of tasks. It is cheaper and far more efficient.


Industry Innovation Can Help Keep Prices Low

Like every industry, the janitorial industry has gone through a number of technological advances in the past few years. As a result, commercial cleaning has become increasingly more effective and more cost efficient. As an example of, the Clarke’s Boost floor cleaning machine, through case studies, has been shown to reduce labor costs by over 80%. While investing in this technology has a high associated cost, the efficiency it offers and reduction in hours can help keep janitorial and commercial cleaning prices down despite a rising minimum wage. Another technology that drastically changed the industry is HEPA filtration backpack vacuums, which allow cleaning staff to cover more than twice the area in a facility in the same amount of time as before. Additionally, the HEPA backpack vacuums also helped reduce repetitive motion injuries as well as improve indoor air quality compared to traditional vacuums. As you can see, not only does innovation in the commercial cleaning industry reduce labor hours, it also improves the health of your building by implementing greener, more sustainable technologies.


How to Use Smart Cleaning to Keep Prices in Check Without Letting Go of Quality

Implementing Smart Cleaning in your facility can help you keep costs down while living with the rising cost of labor in Michigan. To Smart Clean is to strategically target certain services while reducing others to help reduce the overall cost of cleaning while maintaining a similar, livable level of quality. Strategicallyis of course the key word. If your level of service suddenly drops off you are sure to be flooded with complaints and numerous other ancillary problems. The key to effective Smart Cleaning is two things: first, use a cleaning company that is experienced enough to know what can be cut back on and what cannot. Second, find a company that is willing to take the time to understand the ins and outs of your building as well as your specific needs so as to best implement Smart Cleaning in a way that works well for you and your facility. Smart Cleaning isn’t just a phrase that you can throw at your commercial cleaning company and expect results, it requires forethought, innovation, customization and above all, commitment. By cutting tasks that can go undone intermittently, you can significantly reduce your cleaning costs. When applied by an experienced company, you'll find you can reduce your cleaning hours and cost without drastically lowering the quality of your cleaning.


Janitorial Turnover Can Hurt Your Cleaning and Your Wallet

Any service businesses’ single greatest resource is their people, this is in part why rising labor costs have a big impact on Michigan cleaning companies. Employees are key to delivering quality service but the commercial cleaning industry can be notorious for its employee turnover. So, when you come across a janitorial company that actively works to reduce their turnover rate, you are very likely to benefit from their endeavors. Why is that? Mainly because the cost of bringing in new employees with any degree of frequency is a very large expense as it entails recruiting, screening, hiring, and training among other things. Add to that newer employees are more inefficient as they are learning and mastering their responsibilities. This is of course unavoidable, but if your cleaning company is a revolving door of new hires, they are really always in training mode reducing the quality and value of the cleaning services you are receiving. The higher the turnover rate is, the higher the cost is going to be to you, not to mention that the quality of your cleaning will be reduced by the constant changing of the staff that is cleaning your facility.


Use Open Book Pricing to Your Advantage

Open Book Pricing is when a janitorial company literally opens their books and shows you how they break down costs and profit. The benefit of this type open communication is that you can see exactly what it is your paying for and exactly what the hard costs are for your janitorial company. What you should be expecting to see when it comes to hard costs is the following:

  • Direct Costs (often in the form of consumables like cleaners and other paper products)
  • Labor
  • Taxes
  • Management Fees
  • Employee Benefits
  • Insurance
  • Profits

In terms of expenditures, the highest expense will always go to staffing, and with the increase in minimum wage, this number will only go up. The best companies in the industry will look to position their business model in such a way to avoid passing on the cost to you by utilizing techniques like Smart Cleaning and by investing in efficient equipment. However, if you need fixed hours, the cost is going to go up. Taking advantage of industry innovation can help keep prices level, but understand how the rising wage impacts the price of your janitorial and commercial cleaning service provider.


Managing a Rising Minimum Wage Without Sacrificing Service

Inevitably, Michigan’s rising minimum wage will have an impact on costs in a number of industries and the janitorial industry is no exception. Still, there are things to be done with both you and your janitorial company making adjustments to try to keep costs as level as possible and still keep your facility well maintained. Are you looking for better service? Better value? More consistency? Reach out and let us show you how we can make your facility services work for you rather than against you.

Stathakis proudly serves the Southeastern businesses of Ann Arbor, including Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Downriver, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, and Plymouth.

janitorial pricing


Tags: Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

Safeguard Health With Green Cleaning

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 @ 03:46 PM

15. safeguard health gree cleaning

At first glance it may seem like cleaning for health and green cleaning are two separate things. It even used to be the case that green cleaning solutions were less effective than your standard cleaners putting you in the position where you had to make a choice between safe but less effective cleaning products or potent but dangerous commercial cleaners. Green cleaning has come a long way since then, but it still has that negative association of less effective cleaning or much higher cost attached to it. We are here to tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too. Green cleaning has made real strides and can both help protect you from harsh cleaning chemicals while making sure that your facility is properly cleaned for the sake of your health, all at prices that won’t bust your budgets. Now you can have the benefit of better indoor air quality, environmental stewardship, and a high quality cleaning that you and your facility require.


Eco-Friendly Office Cleaning Now Versus Then

Green cleaning has significantly advanced in the last decade with advances in safety AND efficacy. By combining new advances in tools, training, and chemicals, new environmentally friendly cleaning solutions and techniques far surpass their predecessors. While you care about environmental stewardship, at the end of the day your facility needs to be cleaned at the highest level to both protect your reputation and safeguard the health of everyone who enters your facility.

The best commercial green cleaning services are going to utilize the best in green cleaning solutions like color coded microfiber rags, HEPA filtration vacuums, green cleaning chemicals, spray-and-vac equipment and other no touch cleaning systems. HEPA multi-filtration vacuums have been shown to improve air quality by up to 99% by removing allergens and other particulates. Additionally, color coded microfiber cloths are a good way to minimize cross contamination in your facility while remaining an effective way to remove dust and bacteria from surfaces. 

Another important aspect of environmental stewardship is water conservation and material conservation. There are a couple of green cleaning solutions that make this directive a reality. Low-moisture vacuum systems like the Whittaker carpet cleaning method have been designed to use less water in the cleaning process as well as improving the life expectancy of your carpets. Another good example would be flat-mopping, or a system of carefully dispensing water and cleaning solution onto surfaces to make sure it gets spread evenly and does not oversaturate specific areas while not cleaning others. Even newer mechanical hard floor cleaners are using less water than ever. Not only are these cleaning solutions effective for keeping your facility bacteria free and looking presentable but they are the best in green cleaning. As for material conservation, a cleaning company’s methods can help work to this goal. For instance, cleaning companies can opt to empty trash cans with mostly paper refuse without replacing plastic liners every time both cutting costs and plastic trash. Similarly, a cleaning company can stock restrooms with toilet paper and hand towels made with a high percentage of recyclable materials. These products, practices and equipment all add up to big green cleaning feats.


Green Cleaning Can Make Or Break Your Budget

With advances your commercial cleaning services can do more work in less time giving them adequate time to focus on cleaning for health and implementing green cleaning solutions that won’t break the bank. These professional cleaning companies are experienced in tailoring their cleaning solutions to your facility and determining how green cleaning best fits into the specific needs of your building. The fusion of all these green cleaning techniques, technology, solutions and training is what makes the best Detroit cleaning services miles ahead of the competition. By going green you not only get access to better cleaning products and cleaning equipment, but you get the benefit of better trained teams and specialized cleaning built for your facility and its unique needs. Not only will you get a superior cleaning, but it will be environmentally responsible and better for you and your staff. The right green cleaning companies use green practices, green products and green technology to drive a better, more efficient service at a better price.


Using CIMS-GB To Find The Right Green Cleaning Company

While green cleaning is top of mind for many a facility manager, is can be a challenge to find a green office cleaning company that has a serious commitment green cleaning that goes beyond marketing buzz words. More often than not, you are going to run into companies that try to use green cleaning as a way to get your business and take your money rather than giving you the effective green cleaning service you seek. Fortunately for you, there is a good way to sift through the many cleaning companies looking for the shining stars among them. CIMS certification makes that sifting process much, much easier. CIMS certification is a comprehensive industry certification done by an independent auditor and examiner that verifies that a company holds up the industries best practices. On top of this, the CIMS-GB is a sub-certification specifically for green cleaning. Starting your search for a new commercial cleaning company is much easier and more likely to net the right partner when you limit your search to companies with CIMS certification.


Is There a Trade Off Between Green Cleaning & Price?

We all want to protect the environment, but at the end of the day, we need our facilities to be cleaned properly and at a reasonable price. There is a trade off between environmental stewardship and our janitorial and commercial cleaning budget. Fortunately, with the rapid advance in cleaning technology, you can get an effective green cleaning that fits your budgetary requirements if you partner with the right Michigan commercial cleaning service.

It can be helpful during your search for janitorial service to ask prospective companies about their green cleaning programs. Do they have real practices, policies and systems behind them or are they just empty promises? If you are in search of green commercial cleaning services in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver, please reach out to us at Stathakis. With over thirty years serving the businesses of southeastern Michigan, we are a respected and trusted part of the business community.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Green Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

‘Tis the Season of Flus and Colds

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 @ 02:16 PM

5. tis the season 

'Tis the Season....For Colds & Flus

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, merriment and celebration, but it is also flu and cold season. When a cold or flu gets a foothold in your facility, it can really dampen holiday spirits. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this time of year has much higher rates of influenza and other respiratory illness than any other. Not only is the flu’s intensity much worse than any other time, the CDC tells us that “between December and peaking in January and February we expect to see the highest rate of respiratory illness and positive tests for respiratory influenza.”

The cold and flu season is a long one and can have a major impact on workplaces throughout the country. Federal and State governments spend a large amount of time and money trying to minimize the impact of colds, flus and other communicable illnesses, but what can YOU do to protect yourself and your employees to minimize the impact of the cold and flu seasons on your bottom line and staff? Absenteeism is a large problem on its own, so it can be especially damaging when it is exacerbated by illness. What steps should you be taking to mitigate the effects of colds and flus in your workplace and what can you do yourself to protect yourself and your employees?


Enlist Your Office Cleaning Company to Help Prevent the Spread of Illness in the Workplace

When your facility is getting cleaned, especially during cold and flu season, it cannot simply be to make it look nice. Your office cleaning company isn’t very effective if your office looks good but is teeming with disease causing germs. Your cleaning company needs to actively invest in making sure your facility is properly sanitized to protect you and your employees from the various colds and flus that makes their rounds this time of year. Cleaning for health has measurable, positive outcomes in your facility that can affect the morale, productivity and attrition rates of your staff.  Cleaning for health has very specific meanings with methods and procedures attached to it. So, what kinds of things do commercial cleaning companies do when they clean for health?

  1. Cleaners observe dwell times and other relevant product instructions so that cleaning products work as intended to eradicate disease causing germs.
  2. They use a color-coded rag system that helps minimize cross-contamination between different cleaning sites.
  3. Cleaners are familiar with different areas of your facility and apply the correct cleaning method to each area.
  4. Cleaners understand the importance of touch points and hotspots and how to properly clean them to reduce the risk of illness around the workspace.

But what are touch points and how does a color-coded rag system help reduce the spread of disease? First, touch points are areas around the office that are touched more often than any other. Some examples might be: light switches, work phones, computer mice, and door handles. Because of the high traffic they receive, they store exponentially more bacteria and other pathogens than other surfaces and are responsible for the majority of illness around the office. Understanding which objects are touch points and how to clean them is critical to employee health. Second, the color-coded cleaning cloth system is as simple as it sounds. Your cleaning staff has a number of different colored rags that are designated for specific areas around the office so that the rag used on the toilet seat isn’t used on the conference room table. While not the only methods your commercial cleaning company should be using to protect your health, they are both good starting points for keeping you and your employees healthy during the cold and flu season.


What Definitely NOT to Do When You’re Sick

Many of us feel that missing a day of work is unthinkable, especially with large workloads and important deadlines to meet. But coming to work sick is a pointless endeavor. Not only are you going to be unproductive and get little work done, you are risking getting your peers sick and further reducing productivity in the office. No one will think that you are tough or strong willed when you come to the office sick, when your feeling sick, stay home and rest so that when you come back your ready to work.


What You CAN Do to Prevent Illness in the Workplace

“Make sure to wash your hands” is a phrase most of our mothers harangued us about constantly, but it isn’t bad advice at all. What's unfortunate is the number of adults that never learned how and when to wash their hands properly. Your hands are the perfect carrier for all manner of bacteria and other pathogens that make people sick. So, it is important to wash them before eating, after using the restroom, and after touching high traffic objects. Effective hand washing should be your first line of defense against workplace illness and should be done by all employees throughout the day. Another important step to keeping you and your staff healthy is coughing or sneezing into your arm instead of your hand. While you shouldn’t be at work if your coughing or sneezing with any degree of frequency, this simple change in habit can help protect others from illness.

Knowing that hand to hand contact is such an easy way to spread illness, another common sense thing to do is keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth at all costs. It is impossible to make sure one's hands are clean all the time and putting them near your mucous membranes is the perfect opportunity for bacteria to invade your body. Finally, when a sink and soap aren’t available, make sure that you have some hand sanitizer on hand (no pun intended). Hand sanitizer solutions with a least 60% alcohol content are effective at removing all manner of bacteria from your hands and can help keep you clean when you can’t wash your hands. Keeping in mind these simple tips about your hands can help spare you and your co-workers illness during the peak of flu season.


When in Doubt, Vaccine it Out

Another basic step you can take to help keep yourself healthy during the cold and flu season is the flu vaccine. While it isn’t and never has been a sure fire way to completely protect yourself from the flu, it has been shown to be upwards of 90% effective. It's a cheap, safe way to protect yourself against the season so it might be a good idea to ask your doctor if the flu shot might be right for you. Getting the flu shot can help protect you from the most prevalent strains of influenza as well reduce your chances of getting your co-workers sick.  

If you need help with medical cleaning, day porter services, school cleaning, commercial handyman services, restroom sanitation services or more, please call Stathakis at 1-800-278-1884.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

What Your Cleaning Company Must Know This Flu Season

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 @ 03:31 PM

23. what you must know flu season

It is that time of year again. The beginning of the cold and flu ramps up threatening to leave your team a combination of the walking wounded and terrified germaphobes hoping not to get sick. While most of us recover, colds and flus can be serious business for the very young, the very old and those people who are already healthy compromised. Not only do colds and flus spell disaster for people and their noses, chests and stomachs, they can spell disaster for your bottom line. 

If your commercial cleaning service isn’t on the ball, you’re about to have an office full of sick people rather than a case here and there. Poor cleaning processes and practices coupled with employees not properly washing their hands can quickly make any building into a nexus of contagion. And the rates of infection increase exponentially. The more people get sick, the more they can spread disease-causing germs around getting others ill. So, what should you and your employees be doing to protect themselves and how can your Detroit janitorial company do to help keep infection rates down in your facility?


You Are The First & Best Defense Against Office Illness 

The first and often most effective step you can take to protect your employees health is to encourage them never to come to work sick. Coming to work sick will only result in an upward trend in absenteeism reducing work output, not increasing it. Another step you as the Facility Manager can take is to remind your employees of how to correctly wash their hands. Even posting guidelines is shown to increase correct hand washing compliance. At food establishments, it’s the law but hand washing after using the restroom is a good practice for all of us.

It can be surprising how few people actually know how to. Here are the times the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) advocates hand washing:

  • Before eating food
  • Before and after treating an open wound, cut or abrasion
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Before and after caring for a person or people who are sick
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • After using the toilet
  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

Knowing when to wash your hands isn’t the only important aspect of hand washing, however. Knowing how to wash your hands can be just as, if not more important. So, here is what the CDC recommends for non-medical hand washing practices:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.


Your Commercial Cleaning Company Might be Doing More Harm than Good

Now that you know what your part is in keeping your facility healthy, what should your commercial cleaning company be doing to back you up? Certainly not cleaning your restrooms and desks with the same towel. Nor should they be using the same mop and bucket in the restroom anywhere else in the facility. Cross-contamination is one of the most overlooked problems in health cleaning practices and noticeably contributes to poor cleaning, poor outcomes and even employee absenteeism. The reality of the situation is that your cleaning companies practices are going to determine the effects of the cold and flu season on your facility. So here are some industry-proven practices that your commercial cleaning comapny should be following for the best, most effective results.

  • Frequently change mop heads and mop waters, especially after cleaning restrooms, to help reduce cross-contamination risks.
  • Implement a color-coded rag system to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination on surfaces.
  • Use the right cleaning product for the work at hand. For instance, use a lightweight cleaner on low-risk surfaces and a strong disinfectant on touch points and hotspots.
  • Install entryway mats to help reduce the amount of foreign materials that enter the building.
  • Following the practices you set for your employees, your cleaning staff should frequently and correctly wash hands,
  • Keep the janitorial closet in a clean, working order with cleaning supplies neatly and safely stored and equipment and supplies kept clean.
  • All equipment should be well maintained so that is operational.


Why You Need to be Cleaning for Health

There is an important difference between cleaning for appearance and cleaning for health, and your commercial cleaning company has to understand how to do both effectively. As you know, we cannot see the disease causing bacteria and viruses that lurk on surfaces in our office like influenza, the various strains of E. coli, C. difficile, MRSA and other retroviruses. While it is easy to overlook these things because we cannot see them, proper cleaning for health does impact infection rates in your office.

Companies that take the lead protecting your staff will use industry best practices like color-coded rags, use appropriate chemical cleaners for various situations, take advantage of industry specific innovations like HEPA vacuum cleaners to improve air quality and follow manufacturer recommendations like dwell times and effective usage to get you optimal results. If you cleaning company is ignoring these tried and proven practices, they are putting your facility at risk.


Understanding Why Touch Points & Hot Spots Are Vital To Health

When it comes to cleaning for health, touch points and hot spots are critical to employee health and by default, your bottom line. Touch points and hot spots are things like door handles, computer equipment, touchpads, faucet handles, telephones and things like these. They are essentially any common surface that becomes a hotspot for disease because of the number of people that touch and use it on a day to day basis. While it is impossible to keep these surfaces completely clean all the time, regularly cleaning them can help reduce the total germ load and thus the spread of disease in your facility. Make sure that when you partner with a commercial cleaning company that they have a thorough understanding of what it means to clean for health. If your commercial cleaning company is phoning it in or simply doesn’t understand the requirements of the work, when cold and flu season rolls around, you may have a lot of sick employees.


Is it Time to Find A New Commercial Cleaning Partner for the Sake of Health?

No matter what type of cleaning service you are looking for, office cleaning, medical cleaning, industrial cleaning, hospital or other medical cleaning, or just general cleaning, you need to have a partner that has the know-how to clean your facility with the health of your employees in mind. Not only that, they need to implement proven industry practices to insure the proper cleaning of your building. If you aren’t sure what your office cleaning service provider is doing to protect the health of you and your employees, just ask them. If what they tell you does not involve hotspots, reducing the risk of cross-contamination, and dwell times, it might be time to start shopping the commercial cleaning marketplace for something that does. 

janitorial pricing 

Tags: Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning

Is Your Office Cleaning Company Using Team Cleaning?

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Wed, Nov 07, 2018 @ 05:21 PM

team cleaning detroit, tim cleaning livonia, zone cleaning, zone versus team cleaning

Zone Cleaning Isn’t Effective

In theory, multitasking sounds like a great idea, but like many other theories, it doesn't stand up in practice. As it turns out, people aren’t amazing at juggling a variety of tasks. While sometimes this is an unavoidable consequence of work, studies have shown that better, more consistent results are delivered when someone specializes in one area. Knowing this, it is no surprise that zone cleaning, that is, assigning a single person to all the tasks in a room, has been shown to be less effective than team cleaning.


Team Cleaning Is More Efficient, More Effective & Saves Money

So, what is team cleaning and how does its stack up to zone cleaning? A cleaning service that uses zone cleaning has to equip each of their staff members for cleaning every part of a room resulting in the unnecessary duplication, storage and maintenance of items. Further, because zone cleaning is an extreme form of multi-tasking and task switching, the quality of the work is often poor and requires more labor hours overall. In contrast, team cleaning has each person on a team doing a specific cleaning task or small subset of tasks in a building. For instance, one person would be tasked with vacuuming and another with restrooms. This way, there is minimal duplication of equipment and each person is allowed to focus on a specific set of tasks resulting in better task mastery and amore effective, faster cleaning of your facility.


Why Zone Cleaning Fails to Deliver

For certain smaller buildings, it can make sense to have a single person clean the entire office, however, with nearly all larger facilities, having a team for office cleaning offers a number of advantages to you. For instance:

  • Team cleaning streamlines training, makes it easier to fill in for a missing member and improves work consistency.
  • Promotes teamwork to help balance responsibilities.
  • Specialization results in task mastery, consistently higher quality work and reduced labor hours.
  • Reduces the cost of purchasing, servicing and storaging costly duplicate equipment.
  • Different cleaning solutions such as Green Cleaning are easy to implement with a more centralized staff.
  • Easy to customize to the needs of your facility.
  • Overall reduction in the cost to you will reducing the number of labor hours needed to manage the cleaning and maintenance of your facility.


Team Cleaning Offers Clear Cost Advantages

Almost every Facility Manager is trying to figure out how to hold steady the costs of their facility maintenance. Maybe you have overall reduced budgets or maybe you had a costly unplanned maintenance issue that threw your carefully planned budget into a tailspin. Whatever the reason, reducing services can’t come at the cost of proper facility cleaning, cuts have to be strategic to still maintain acceptable cleanliness while keeping costs steady or even reducing the overall price of the service.

One of the best ways to do this is by taking advantage of team cleaning. Take for example a light duties specialist, this individual typically dusts and cleans all surfaces, clean windows and doors, empties trash and stacks trash for pickup by different team member to collect. These teams will often include specialist in everything from vacuuming to utilities. Such specialization has a number of benefits to you and your budget. First, it helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Second, it helps improve consistency and the quality of service, giving you more value for your dollar. Finally, it makes sure the responsibilities are laid out and that each person is aware of what needs to get done.


How Team Cleaning Mitigates the Impact of the Rising Minimum Wage

Janitorial and commercial cleaning prices are on the rise largely due to the increasing minimum wage here in Michigan. As the single largest hard cost to any office cleaning company, the cost of labor has a serious impact on our pricing. The second largest contributor to hard costs is the price of buying and maintaining equipment. Team cleaning helps address both of these factors. Not only does it reduce labor hours, by minimizing the amount of duplicated equipment, team cleaning can significantly reduce the price of having your facility regularly cleaned without significantly reducing the quality of cleaning. 


Are You Looking for a Step Up in Your Commercial Cleaning Services?

As Facility Manager, you know how the quality and consistency of your janitorial and commercial cleaning service can positively or negatively impact your workload as well as the function of your facility. If your cleaning service is a constant thorn in your side, it might be time to look for a new prospective cleaning company. Companies that provide a cost-effective service without causing problems in your facility do exist. You can have a high quality service without bankrupting your building.

Here at Stathakis, we provide consistent, responsive, effective service and a solid value for businesses all across southeastern Michigan. We have been in the industry more than 30 years and have developed a consistent standard of service that our customers are all willing to vouch for. We will work hard to develop a lasting partnership with you and your facility as well as to deliver the highest quality of service to your facility. If you are a Facility Manager in Royal Oak, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Plymouth, Downriver or any areas close to those and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or a janitorial company, please contact us so we can help your facility look its best and work to meet your specific needs.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning

Cut Through the Red Tape & Find Effective Industrial Cleaning Services

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 10:53 AM

detroit industrial cleaning companies, livonia industrial cleaning, dearborn industrial janitorial, commercial industrial cleaning 

Cut Through the Red Tape to Find Effective Industrial Janitorial Services

Finding the right janitorial service provider for your facility has never been an easy task, but that doesn't mean that your time spent searching is wasted. Finding the right industrial cleaning services company is important, after all, not every commercial cleaning company is up to the job. While commercial cleaning companies come in all sizes and specialties, very few are equipped to handle large facilities, especially those with specific needs, professionally and effectively. Taking advantage of our insider tips and tricks and you can find those companies that stand above the rest in the crowded janitorial marketplace. Get the right industrial cleaning company and maintain your facility at the highest possible standard.


The Best People = The Best Service

As you’ll find with any service based business, if your prospective industrial janitorial services company isn’t serious about their staff, you will be get a reduced quality of service. As such, there are a couple of important questions to ask yourself. Does your prospective Detroit industrial cleaning company service illegally hire and subcontract to artificially lower their bottom line? Do they work to hire, screen, train, and retain the best employees that are the best possible fit for you and your facility? Are they running a criminal background check and drug testing every employee who enters your facility?


Lower Turnover Equates With Improvements In Service

According to national averages, the janitorial industry has an employee turnover rate of nearly 200%. That is to say that compared to other industries, janitorial companies lose and rehire employees nearly twice as often. While high turnover isn’t uncommon with lower wage, lower skill labor, it doesn't have to be thathigh. This high turnover rate is more often caused by a number of poor practices commonplace in the janitorial industry. High turnover is often directly related to a lack of competitive wages, benefits, quality training that raises performance and engagement, and a lack of responsive management that helps good people deliver good work. High turnover may seem like something you shouldn’t have to worry about, after all, it is your industrial cleaning service’s job to find and train new employees, right? Unfortunately for you, a revolving door of staff can cause security problems in your facility, an overall decline in the level of service as a result of inexperience in your facility and incomplete training, and ultimately higher costs and lower value of the service you receive.


Training Paves the Way to Results 

The best manufacturing cleaning companies will invariably have the most comprehensive training programs. While effective training isn’t the only quality of a successful janitorial company, no company that does not have effective and proven training will deliver a consistent level of high quality service. Ask yourself, does your prospective Michigan industrial cleaning company offer solid, proven training specific to what needs to be done in your facility? Are they sending their people to your facility ready to work and to perform at the highest level in the industry?


Transparency, the Difference You Can SEE

There is never an excuse for your janitorial company to provide a quote that is difficult to understand or filled with fuzzy, unclear math. A confusing price point is a fundamental failure of your industrial janitorial company to understand their own services or, even worse, an attempt to hide upcharges or play pricing games to get you to pay more than you need to. No matter what the case may be, any company that fails to provide a clear, easy to understand bid that you can compare to other bids in a meaningful way should not be servicing your facility.


Beware of the “One-Size-Fits-All” Bid

Every facility is different so any janitorial company that tries to use a “one size fits all” type of plan should raise some major red flags for you. Not only does every facility have different amounts of employee and customer traffic as well as layouts, but you as Facility Manager are going to have different concerns and needs than other managers. Perhaps you want to save money and have different budgetary requirements, or your last company had some problems that you need to be addressed. Either way, be wary of any company that tries to base their bid on the square footage of your facility alone. Any professional industrial maintenance services company worth their salt will need much more specific information in order to give you an accurate, fair pricing.


An Effective Cleaning Service has Effective Communication 

No matter how skilled an industrial janitorial company is, people make mistakes and there will be problems and miscommunications that occur.  Problems aren’t what separate a good company from a bad company, it is the way that they are addressed. The first question that should come to your mind when talking to your prospective cleaning company is their plan for handling complaints, hiccups, among other issues. If they can’t answer this question it is clear they are not set up to handle problems or even minor issues and as such, will not be able to respond to the specific needs and modifications that your facility may need. An effective commercial cleaning and janitorial service provider will get back to you with suggestions quickly. They will inform you immediately of problems and then rapidly put things back on track. Further, they will regularly conduct inspections to make sure that you are satisfied with the level and type of service you are getting. As is with any service company, communication is key. Does your current commercial cleaning company regularly correspond with you about issues and solutions in your facility?


Assure the Insurance

The best commercial industrial cleaning services protect you and themselves by taking advantage of all four types of service insurance to mitigate litigations towards them, and by extension, towards you. These four categories of insurance are: automobile liability, general liability, workers compensation and the umbrella policy. Make sure to confirm this coverage with your cleaning partner to make sure that you are protected from costly legal action and other types of risk associated with a lack of coverage.


Why Cleaning Based of Science and Health Standards Matters

Any building is going to be packed with your employees all using public items, so when cold and flu season rolls around, your going to have a lot of sick people shooting up your absenteeism way above normal. The most effective solution to this ongoing problem is having a professional commercial cleaning company that understands how to clean for health. Experienced companies that understand the science behind cleaning for health will use their know-how to halt the spread of pathogens by targeting hot spots, touch points, preventing cross contamination, and properly sanitizing to help keep you and your employees disease free.


Smart Cleaning and Team Cleaning Can Help Get You to Budget

The janitorial and cleaning industry, like many industries, has been technologically advancing at an unprecedented pace. Take, for example, Smart Cleaning. By identifying critical and non-critical services, you can strategically reduce cleaning in certain areas while still maintaining an acceptable level of clean. Essentially, reducing expensive service hours by understanding what is needed and what is not. It takes a level of skill, intuition, and innovation to find these industry specific efficiencies to help reduce costs and improve services without detracting from the overall cleanliness of the facility. Another forward thinking innovation is Team Cleaning. By putting a team in charge of cleaning the entire facility, instead of zone cleaning where a single person gets a zone, responsibility becomes very specific allowing task mastery as well as a reduction in the amount of duplicate equipment needed to help reduce costs. Innovation is the key to reducing labor hours and the amount of expensive solutions and equipment.


A Commitment to Environmental Stewardship Through Green Cleaning

Green cleaning is the buzzword of the commercial cleaning industry, but what can it realistically do for you and your facility? First, green cleaning is a good way to minimize your employees and tenants exposure to traditionally harsh and toxic chemicals used for deep cleaning and sanitization. Second, it can help reduce your carbon footprint so as to garner more LEED points for your building. Finally, it can help maintain a higher level of air quality in the building as well as reduce the amount of waste produced in your facility.


What is an Industry Best Practice?

Best practices can seem difficult to define, but in reality they are quite simple. Best practices are those methods and techniques that are strictly superior to the others that exist. These practices are accredited by managerial standards like: SO 9000, ISO 14001, and CIMS because these certifiers understand that these best practices lead to best results. These prestigious certifications are given to companies whose methodologies range from anything to on-site solutions to management methods that help the company provide your facility with a more effective, more reliable service.  The best industrial janitorial companies use best standards because they are observably better. They are more effective and more efficient, delivering more consistent results to customers.


Shortening Your List with the CIMS Certification

There is a long list of items you should consider when looking at a prospective commercial industrial cleaning company. It can seem complex and overwhelming at first glance. But this last trick should make things a lot easier. Instead of spending hours, if not days, asking questions and verifying the things above with the overcrowded marketplace of potential companies, simply look at their professional certifications like the ISSA’s CIMS and CIMS-GB accreditation to quickly cut down on your list of potential contractors. The certifications demonstrate a companies desire and ability to use the best practices in the industry as well as continue to innovate to bring better service to the table. Instead of starting from scratch, look at a much reduced list of CIMS certified companies and find the best contractor for you and your facility from there.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Industrial Cleaning

Is Your Janitorial Company's Closet Sending the Wrong Message?

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ 12:26 PM

detroit janitorial company, janitorial services company, livonia cleaning companies, downriver commercial cleaning company The Secret of the Janitorial Closet

You contract with a janitorial company so that you can avoid having to deal with micromanaging the cleaning of your facility, right? The goal is for everything to run smoothly and effectively so that you can focus your energy elsewhere. In order for you to be relatively hands off with your commercial cleaning company, they must be experienced, professional and attentive to all the details big and small that go into providing exceptional, affective janitorial services. The janitorial closet can be a fairly good barometer of the level of quality your commercial cleaning company is providing. Is the cleaning closet neat and orderly, a complete mess or somewhere in between?


You Can Judge a Janitorial Company by the State of Their Closet

Is the focus on a well-organized janitorial closet too narrow? We don’t think so. Your janitorial service contractor is fully aware that you can go check the cleaning storage closet at anytime, and as such, if it is consistently left messy and unkempt it means that your cleaning company thinks that you don’t check and is likely treating your facility with about the same level of care. Further, there are specific compliance codes and regulations about the storage of various cleaning supplies that if aren’t followed, can put you and your facility at risk. Sure who hasn’t left something untidy before or even taken a shortcut here or there to get something done quickly, yet a pattern of sloppiness and shortcuts will inevitably lead to poor cleaning services.


Janitorial Best Practices are Well, Best

Do we really want to have to wonder if the cloth used to clean the toilet was also used to clean our desk? Do we want to settle for a janitorial services company that doesn’t follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding cleaning chemicals? Do we want to partner with a cleaning company that might not be adequately screening their staff? The reality is that short cuts in one area predict short cuts in others. If your commercial cleaning service isn’t consistently following industry best practices, you and your facility are at risk in a host of important ways.


Color Coded Rags and Combatting Cross-Contamination

When it comes to dealing with cross contamination, there is a cost effective, common sense method that your janitorial company should be using, a color coordinated rage system. The color-coded rag system uses rags, cloths and towels of varying color for specified areas in order to reduce or eliminate cross-contamination and get a cleaner, healthier work environment. Take, for instance, office cleaning. The rag that was used to clean the restroom should never be used to clean the desk. By color coding rags that can be used in the restroom and those that can be used on the desk, you are never at risk for these types of problems. It is a simple system anyone can follow. If your cleaning service isn’t using this easy to understand, easy to implement visual coding system, they are not doing their part to prevent health risks in your facility.


The Old Gray Mare She Ain’t What She Used to Be

Unlike some of us tech junkies, your office cleaning company doesn't need brand new state-of-the-art equipment every year to be competitive and to provide a high level or service. However, that doesn't mean that having near antique equipment won’t impact the quality of cleaning in your facility. First, using the right equipment, such as HVAC vacuum cleaners, can help earn LEED points towards improving your green building score. Further, newer vacuum cleaners are often lighter and more efficient saving you both time and money. This is especially beneficial given that janitorial cleaning budgets are as tight as ever. The best commercial cleaning companies recognize that having the right, up-to-date equipment can improve cleaning and efficiency. When you look in your janitorial closet do you see newer equipment that is well maintained or a bunch of broken bits or vacuums and floor cleaning supplies or machines that have seen better days?


Does Your Green Cleaning Program Have Teeth?

Every janitorial or commercial cleaning that you talk to is going to throw the word “green cleaning” at you but do they have a comprehensive program to truly meet your environmental and sustainability goals? What does an actual green cleaning program look like? Is your janitorial company using LEEDs approved equipment and processes? Are they using environmentally sound cleaning solutions and are they using them in the right ways? Are they protecting your building’s occupants from the dangers of cross-contaminations? If your prospective janitorial and commercial cleaning company is really putting their best foot forward on green cleaning practices they should have comprehensive information and evident programs that they can implement in your facility.


Improve Your Janitorial Cleaning Service Through Regular Inspection

One of the best ways to ensure consistency and assure reliability in your facility is to perform regular janitorial inspections, including inspections of the janitorial closet/closets. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, it is a very human thing to do. So, through the use of janitorial inspections, we can help find and address these mistakes quickly before they bloom into larger problems. Your cleaning company can’t address issues you have with them if they are never told what the issues are. Use regular inspections to your advantage to help forge a stronger partnership with your cleaning company.


A Dirty Cleaning Closet is a Major Red Flag

You can’t use the state of the janitorial closet as a sole gauge of the quality of cleaning and service that you are receiving. However, it can be a major red flag indicating larger problems. If you perform a janitorial inspection and find that the closet is in perfect or near perfect condition, it is likely you can rest assured that your facility is being attended to in the same way. Here at Stathakis, we take advantage of the latest innovations and proven cleaning processes to deliver the highest quality service. We work with our teams to keep janitorial closet clean and organized because we know having the right tools well organized is the optimal starting point. Let us show you how our Southeast Michigan cleaning sets the standard for the industry. Whether you have a simple question or would like a no-obligation quote, give us a call at 1-800-278-1844 or email

janitorial pricing

Tags: Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices

Is Poor Office Cleaning Can Making You Sick?

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 @ 02:39 PM

office cleaning, poor office cleaning, office cleaning and absenteeism, office illness

Are Your Office Cleaners Making You Or Your People Sick?

Regardless of how clean and seemingly healthy you and your employees are, the office will always be one of the perfect locations for disease causing pathogens to stake out. There are a number of people in a small space frequently touching communal objects. Office break rooms, restrooms and other highly trafficked spaces can set the perfect storm for the spread of colds, flus, and worse. Of course, colds, flus and stomach bugs are virulent all year long but cold weather brings the cold and flu season in full swing as more and more people spend more time indoors spreading more germs.

Unless your commercial cleaning company is prepared and on their A-game, your employee count is going to take a hit and subsequently hurt your productivity and mess with your bottom line. The best protection against the seasonal upswing in illness is to minimize the transmission and pay particular attention to those areas most likely to serve as breeding ground for disease causing microbes. Is your office cleaning company doing everything in their power to make sure that your office is healthy and that employees aren’t getting sick?


When Cleaning for Health, What’s Most Critical?

Innovation and research has helped explain many of the mysteries surrounding the causes and spread of disease. For instance, did you know that every minute, a working adult can touch upwards of 25 objects in close proximity to them contaminating them with bacteria and other pathogens. According to a recent and reputable workplace study, desktop surfaces such as computers, keyboards, mouses and telephones can have more germs than a toilet seat. This might sound counterintuitive because we know bathroom business can be germy but think about it, it’s done in one place whereas your hands touch everything.

Any reputable, professional, experienced commercial cleaning companies should be familiar with how colds and flus spread in your facility and where germs like to hide and thrive as well learning terms such as hotspots, touch points, and dwell times. They must train their teams on safe and effective chemical usage and the best practices that we know decrease the spread of disease causing germs. See the ISSA’s Infographic on the real cost of substandard office cleaning. On average, absenteeism can cost businesses more than $225 billion dollars each year and results in as much as a 54% loss in productivity. Don’t settle for bad cleaning, it’s costing you more than you think.


Touch Points & Why They Matter

Touch points are critical for keeping your office clean and healthy, so it might be surprising how many office cleaning companies are unfamiliar with them. A touch point or hotspot is any area in you facility that hands come into contact with frequently. Some common touch points are phones, computer mouses, door handles, business machines, light switches, the office fridge handle, microwave handle, railings as well as a number of other office objects. Research confirms what seems pretty obvious, the areas that are touched the most are most likely to house and thus spread disease causing germs.

If these critical areas are not given proper attention they can be the perfect little disease hub in your office. Office cleaning companies that are unfamiliar with touch points in your office or inconsistent in they way they handle them will result in more illness and significantly higher rates of employee absenteeism, lower productivity, decreased satisfaction and engagement, and even increased employee turnover. Is your commercial cleaning company actively cleaning office computers, handles, mouses and other often used equipment? Effective office cleaning isn’t just about how the office looks afterwards, it is how clean the office actually is.


Cold and Flus are Bad for Your Health AND Your Bottom Line

We all know that poor cleaning can leave your facility looking dirty and unkempt, but it can also make your employees sick. We know that areas that have a high viral and bacterial load can make people sick easily and we also know that we can reduce this risk by treating such areas with the appropriate bactericides and cleaners. Studies confirm that when hotspots are cleaned frequently and with the correct chemicals, illness-related absenteeism have be significantly reduced. With fewer cases of the flu and the common cold lingering in the office, often employee satisfaction and productivity will increase. Further, as a result of increased satisfaction, employees are more engaged which helps increase employee retention rates. When you keep your office clean and healthy, the people that work there can focus on their jobs.


Is Your Commercial Cleaner Your Partner Against the Spread of Disease?

The best commercial cleaning companies not only clean for aesthetic appearance, they clean for health. These companies have a firm grasp of bacterial and viral transmission and are familiar with the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. They are competent in realizing when to remove dirt from surfaces and when to sanitize to reduce the bacterial load. Finally, they know how to use dwell times to their advantage so as to effectively maximize the usefulness of their cleaning products to reduce the germ load in your facility and to keep everyone healthy. Cleaning for health and the concrete science behind effective cleaning has advanced, and if your commercial cleaning company isn’t keeping up advances, updates and innovation, they are leaving you open to exposure and failing to give you the value and return you deserve from your office cleaning budget.

What should your commercial cleaning company be doing? First, you need to partner with a commercial cleaning company that will actively put your employee’s health in the forefront of their cleaning. Second, make sure your employees are hand washing and following other cold/flu etiquette to minimize the spread of pathogens in the facility. Finally, make sure that your employees are not showing up sick to work. Sick employees not only won’t be able to work, they risk getting other employees sick and speeding up the cycle of colds and flus n your workplace.


Partnering With the Right Office Cleaning Company to Protect Your Health

The best way to make sure that you facility is a healthy work environment is to have a professional, effective, and most importantly responsive Detroit office cleaning and janitorial company. Here at Stathakis, we work with all types of businesses to keep their workplace clean and healthy. We have a thorough understanding and background of touch points and hotspots. We also understand that the people that clean your facility are as important as how they clean your facility. As such, we go well beyond industry requirements when it comes to screening and hiring our staff. Can we help you? If you would like to learn how we help Facility Managers just like you with effective janitorial services all while staying on budget, please contact us at (800) 278-1884.

Stathakis proudly serves the Southeastern businesses of Ann Arbor, including Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Downriver, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, and Plymouth.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

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