A reader asks: "I read about figuring productivity but still am confused. What is the formula and what do I include?"

The formula for figuring productivity is Total Square Feet being cleaned divided by Total Direct Labor Hours expended per day that is relevant to the cleaning process or SF/DLH. You need to determine how many DLH (direct labor hours) are used on a nightly basis. The key is to be consistent in your definitions since mixing and matching can through all your future numbers off.

I suggest you include ALL the labor hours that are involved in the daily cleaning of the building while taking into account the reality that some tasks may not be performed each visit. Hours to include would be pulling trash, sweeping/vacuuming, dusting, cleaning rest rooms, carpet spotting, touching up walls, and perhaps even buffing/burnishing. Tasks to exclude would be scrub/strip/recoat of hard floors, carpet shampooing (Hot Water Extraction or shampooing), infrequent high dusting, pressure washing, scrubbing out rest rooms and other infrequent tasks. Some toss-up tasks include bonnet cleaning, encapsulation and possibly burnishing if performed frequently.

We will use a 100,000 SF building that is serviced five days per week. The total direct labor hours is forty five that includes the list above as well as routine encapsulation of the front entrance and key elevator lobbies since a different area is cleaned each visit. By dividing 100,000 by 45 we determine that current productivity is 2,222 SF/Hour. This may or may not be a good number for the facility since productivity is driven by many factors including customer expectations, traffic, use of building, equipment available, etc.

In a future article we will analyze ways of improving productivity.

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.