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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Where can I find an estimator to guide me in how many employees are recommended according to sq. ft. ? We have 4 full time and 15 part time employees. Some of our facilities require 24/7 care for continuous traffic: our prayer room, restrooms and other seminar facilities.


ISSA and APPA both have published cleaning times, but your situation is a bit more complex. Having visited your campus a few years ago, I noticed many of your challenges are unique. Very few churches are open 24/7 for praise and worship. Your conference center is huge and you have the added challenge of a busy coffee shop (much like Starbucks and open about the same amount of hours) and a busy bookstore. You will probably need to benchmark your campus individually, as it is a unique facility.
One of my associates, James Rasmussen, has offered the following advice. James has years of experience workloading buildings and recently has redesigned the cleaning operations for a large church/school. Here are his suggestions:
The difficulty with trying to develop a strong but thrifty work schedule for a busy church campus is simply the amount of transition that occurs throughout a typical week. From symposiums, weddings, funerals, community events, et al, the church campus can be driven pretty hard. There is a trick to putting together a working schedule that is very different from the way one might schedule a commercial building or a school. Simply put, It has to be loaded backwards!
• Start with a blank calendar and map out the regular occurring cleaning that happens every day
• Next, map out the regular reoccurring events that happen each month.
• Determine the amount of man hours needed to provide for each service/event and add this to the calendar.
• Next map out the amount of time needed each day to perform the cleaning in these areas and add this to the calendar
• Determine the time required and frequency for project work such as window washing, floor buffing or stripping, and carpet cleaning.
Look at these areas now as your Base Program and evaluate your options:

• Are the specific areas better served with part time workers, or a full time employee?
• Is an area better off with two part timers in an area instead of one?
• Should an area be “flooded” with several employees to complete the setup?
• From the needs of your Base Program you can begin to build your shifts.

Give consideration to the needs of employees during the shifts but still maintain optimal service to the church.
• Who is willing to work late?
• Who is not available for split shifts?
• String the hours of your shifts together into balanced work weeks
• Add a layer of fall-back employees during peak times, “Rovers” or “Floaters” or “on call” personnel to back you up for the events that pop up on an “as needed” basis
• Maintain a pool of part-time employees to bring in during surge periods

With the above advice offered by James, let me add some additional considerations. The chair set up time can vary depending upon the skill level and physical speed of the workers.
Also, the size or weight of chairs (folding vs. stackable) can make a difference. A church I am familiar with is about the same size as your operation. They allow 1 hour setting up 150 chairs and the same time to take them back down.
Cleaning production rates vary considerably. I have seen a production rate as low as 1800 sq. ft per hour for elementary schools, daycare, or Sunday school classrooms with individual restrooms. And I have seen production rates of 3,600 sq. ft per hour for large church auditoriums and classrooms with even higher rates for halls.
If you need a consultant to work with you, please visit the member list at ICAN One of us could offer our services by contracting to visit your campus and work up a complete workloading program.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112