A reader writes: “Your comments about time standards really confused me since I keep it simple by dividing the total square footage by the industry standard productivity rate. What am I missing?”

I am not sure what you mean by “industry standard productivity rate” so I’ll have to make a few assumptions that I encourage you to correct if I am off target. First of all, when we discussed this “rate” that you stated that in your area “everyone” is using 4,000 – 4,500 SF/Hour to bid contracts. You further stated that this is an accepted number based on a well-known cleaning times standard that has a lot of tasks and times developed over the years. I have researched that and other time standards and do not see the connection.

First of all, productivity (SF/Hour) can be seriously impacted by what you do (tasks), how often you do it (frequency), what tools you use to accomplish the task (buffer versus burnisher) and the desired outcome (standards of cleanliness). For instance, a day care center usually requires much more detail cleaning of touch points, vacuuming, carpet care, etc. than a typical office building.

Using the time standards you referenced and applying the “usual” specifications, the day care center comes out at about 1,100 SF/Hour based on five day per week service and an “average” number of children and staff. A “typical office building with restrooms on each floor, a high traffic lobby/entrance, “average” foot traffic and a mix of executive suites and cubicle areas can range from 4,500 – 8,000 SF/Hour based on what equipment is used, processes (zone or team cleaning) and whether it is a Class A, B or C building.

I suggest that what you are missing is that although you may be able to generalize about different types of accounts, there is still no “one size fits all” especially when established time standards are referenced. Your comments and questions are important. 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.