Experts Differ on Future of Day Cleaning; Study Touts Its Lower Energy Use
The future popularity of day cleaning depends on whom you ask, since cleaning experts differ.
Looking ahead, Elliott foresees some growth in the day-cleaning model for a variety of cost reasons, including energy costs.
One variation Elliott mentions is day cleaning lite, typically a mixed-shift strategy that uses a limited number of staff who focus on emergency situations and policing involving such issues as litter, touch-ups, spills, and restroom appearance.
For his part, Greig says he sees day cleaning becoming the majority approach worldwide, and the field moving further in this direction once contractors become more aggressive in their pricing methods.
Spencer says he believes day cleaning works for most facilities if it is done properly. The pre-requisites, he says, are: Know your operation, be organized, and implement well-planned scheduling.
Ashkin says day cleaning is never going to work every place and there are many issues to consider. But, he says, especially for buildings that are occupied from just 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., we think its a real opportunity for many of them.
The bottom line: I look at it that its not black and white, that we just have to be thoughtful about it, says Ashkin.
Labor-Environmental Group Studies Day Cleaning
The BlueGreen Alliance, an organization that unites 15 of Americas largest unions and environmental organizations, published a study of day cleaning in 2010. The study by the Minneapolis-based non-profit organization argued for day shift cleaning on the grounds of less energy use and said it should be coupled with green cleaning.
Keeping lights and heating or cooling systems turned on throughout the night while janitors clean adds to the environmental footprint of our buildings, the study said.
The studys authors attribute the range of these energy cost savings 4 to 8 percent per year to industry estimates.
The study notes that this is comparatively easy money: Day Shift Cleaning requires no major installation or large capital investments, it says. The only requirement is a stable and well-trained workforce.
Among the studys other conclusions:
Adequate time and training are crucial in making a successful shift to day cleaning. Day cleaning should be phased in over several months to give the workforce adequate time to adjust. It is also important to educate building occupants about the benefits of day cleaning.
Maintain overall staffing levels to ensure minimal disruption for building occupants and safe and efficient operations.
Give cleaners mandatory awareness training ... to prepare them to work alongside and interact with building occupants, including both safety and customer service skills.
Green cleaning and day cleaning should go hand-in-hand: Day Shift Cleaning conducted with hazardous products will simply substitute one environmental problem (toxic exposures) for another (energy waste). While it may still save money, it will hardly be green.
The study, titled Clean Sweep, can be read in its entirety at: bit.ly/CleanSweepStudy