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Monday, September 01, 2014

Question

What areas (beside restrooms) of an occupied office building do you think can be cleaned during the day? What work is acceptable when employees' are present?


Answer

Day cleaning does require certain tasks to be done during the hours in which a building is occupied. What is acceptable to the occupants depends on how they perceive the value of what is being done and how cooperative they are expected to be. Usually, management sets the tone for the employees’ response to the new approach.
Occupants may be asked to set wastebaskets out where they may be easily reached without disturbing the worker. This is as simple as leaving the litter basket beside the desk rather than inside the kneehole. Not a big change at all.
Quiet vacuums are available that can barely be heard, hence producing minimum disturbance.
Rest rooms and lunch rooms can be closed to traffic for the few minutes it takes to service them, and mop and let the floors dry.
Many workers, when seeing the cleaner approach, will be able to take a 5 minute break and leave the cubicle or office so that even desktops may be dusted and damp wiped.
Schedule conference rooms for when they are not being used by anyone. The only work unsuited to occupancy hours would be projects that necessitate closing down a needed space for any appreciable period of time, such as stripping and refinishing the break room floor, or shampooing and extracting carpets. Obviously, this sort of work takes time and involves cords, hoses, and other hazards that make it less costly and more efficient to schedule during non-occupancy hours.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com