Whether you are just starting out in the cleaning business or inherited a growing company, or are a member of a department, knowing your numbers is important. Comparing productivity numbers can be difficult to determine because there are so many variables with each contract site, yet all will have similar areas. 

Most buildings will have a certain amount of glass in doors, windows, skylights, trash cans, etc.  Most will have one or more restrooms with the same type fixtures.  Most will have various rooms that are used either daily or on a regular basis such as an office, a cubicle area or a conference room.  

Your challenge will be to know with some degree of certainty how long it will take to “clean” each of those areas to the customer’s satisfaction. If executive level cleaning is expected, there will be tasks performed more often than a budget driven contract which may only be cleaned weekly.

Different areas can be dealt with each day in the higher frequency account; whereas everything has to be done in the lower frequency account on each visit.

As to productivity rates, there are published schedules that can give general guidance on how long it takes to clean an area.  These time standards estimate X number of minutes per 1,000 square feet or Y number of minutes per unit/fixture.  Use these guides until you can develop your own standards since your numbers may vary.  Be consistent in developing your own time standards.  Suggestions:

• Develop times for different types of accounts so you have points of comparison. Example:  you would conduct a different time study for a bank than a day care center or a manufacturing plant.

• Select experienced workers after they have been cleaning an area for a minimum of two weeks or more.  A new cleaner on a new job will give inaccurate data.

• Collect data on the same area for at least five or more cleaning cycles to develop an average.

• Average the times by adding them and then dividing by the total number of times studied.

Once you have your own time standards you will be much more confident in submitting proposals.  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.