Talking Trash 

One of the most important considerations when negotiating contract changes due to redesigns is refuse. Changes that affect the handling and removal of waste can impact BSC’s services pre- and post-construction and should be resolved before work begins. 

“Access to the freight elevator is critical because custodians have to remove the trash,” notes Poole. “You need to have a meeting to establish what’s going to happen during the build-out phase: How is the trash going to be handled? How will construction impact the use of the freight elevator? When will you be working in the building?”

If custodial workers need to work around construction, Poole recommends being up front with clients regarding their needs and communicating that custodial services must be prioritized. Frontline workers must have access to all areas of the building in order to clean and remove trash. 

Once redesigns are completed, BSCs may need to reevaluate trash collection services and work with clients to streamline processes where needed. 

“The denser an area is, the longer it’s going to take to empty trash, wipe desktops or dust partitions,” says Murch. “Be transparent with customers and give them options.” 

To minimize costs, he suggests switching clients to a centralized trash program where employees take their own trash to an area near a coffee station or break room on a regular basis. From there, cleaning workers can remove refuse once a week.  

“By doing this, we’re able to save a lot on labor and costs that can offset wage increases,” says Murch. “It’s a give-and-take with customers, and the more we can work together to find innovative solutions, the better job we can do to provide a safe, healthy workplace.” 

Perfecting Partnerships 

When navigating potential account changes, BSCs agree that honesty is still the best policy.  

“Be transparent, be flexible, justify what you’re doing and monetize it,” says Murch. “It might be about wage increases, but it could also be about implementing a new ride-on scrubber that costs $6,000 but saves two hours of labor each night.” 

Regardless of what design or layout changes the client makes, BSCs are encouraged to show their support. Being a strong partner means showing excitement about changes and working together on the best ways to showcase the new layout. Poole recommends putting a positive spin on alterations before discussing changing workloads and new pricing structures. 

If clients are downsizing, BSCs can also use this opportunity to upsell additional services.  

“Ask your customers if there are other services you can provide that they hadn’t thought of before,” says Buchner. “For example, if they’re reducing the footprint of the building, maybe they could repurpose two crew members to constantly wipe and disinfect high-touch areas. Or maybe they could allow us to pressure-wash sidewalks. Find out what’s important to them. That goes a long way toward getting property managers to emphasize a clean and safe building.”


Kassandra Kania is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a frequent contributor to Contracting Profits.

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How Redesigned Offices Affect Cleaning Demands