A major part of staffing and workloading is deciding whether to utilize Zone or Team Cleaning. Zone Cleaning is when one person performs all of the daily and detail tasks in an assigned area. It may be one or more floors of a building or it may be a route of small accounts. He/she is responsible for pulling trash, dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, rest room cleaning/stocking, carpet spotting and any other tasks required in the daily specifications.  


Such a person must be well trained and be able to work independently since supervision is usually limited. They must be able to make decisions on a day to day basis as to what to do or not do to in order to fulfill the contract and keep the customer happy. It has been estimated that they must make 25-40 different decisions each service visit since no two days are alike.  They probably should also know how to service their equipment such as changing belts on the vacuum cleaner and dumping/changing the bag. There is a place for Zone Cleaning, which will be discussed in greater detail later, but it should be noted that in most cases, Zone Cleaning is not as productive as Team Cleaning when each is compared.


Team Cleaning allows for four functions: 1) Trash Collector, 2) Vacuum and Floor Cleaner, 3) Restroom Cleaner and 4) Utility or Lead person. These four functions can be performed by the same person since Team Cleaning promotes a consistent process regardless of the number of workers. Each of the positions has specific functions that are designed to allow the team to work together and finish the area at the same time. There must be a certain amount of flexibility to succeed but overall Team Cleaning has proven to increase productivity from 20-40 percent or more based on how it is implemented.


In an era of tightening budgets and increased expectations, custodial managers and building service contractors need to evaluate how they current clean and identify the most productive way for each account. 


I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…..


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.