Best method to increase cleaning production rates and profits

First, let’s define what a production rate is in contract cleaning terms. The production rate is simply how many total square feet are cleaned per hour.

  • An example is a 30,000 sq’ building that has four employees working 3 hrs each for a total of 12 hrs. (30,000 sq’ divided by 12 hrs = 2,500 sq’ per hr production rate.)
  • Or as a formula, (Total Building Sq’ divided by the Total Hours to clean).

The bottom line is higher production rates = lower labor costs and higher profits. Lower production rates = higher labor costs and lower profits.


This brings us back to our original question. What method? Well, let’s define the following methods and look at the pros and cons of each:

  • Area or Zone Clean: Usually best for smaller buildings, up to 10,000 sq’. When one person cleans everything by themselves, from restrooms, detailing, trash, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, etc… (An example would be two cleaners in a 2 story building with one cleaner cleaning all of the first floor and another cleaner handling the entire second floor). Pros: More pride and ownership of “your area” and accountability. Cons: Although fine in smaller facilities requiring one or two cleaners, this method is slower in larger facilities that require more staff.
  • Team Cleaning: Usually works best for midsize buildings, 10-15,000 sq’. This occurs when individual tasks are assigned to more than one person in an area or zone. i.e. One person cleans all of the restrooms, another person handles all of the trash, another person performs the vacuuming, etc… Pros: Usually 10-20% faster. Cons: Less ownership of areas that can lead to quality issues.
  • Combination Cleaning: You probably guessed it.. A combination of Area/Zone cleaning and Team cleaning that works best for mid-sized to larger buildings (over 15,000 sq’). Here, some cleaners clean a whole area by themselves and some cleaners do specific tasks like trash only or vacuuming only. Pros: Faster production rates, but doesn’t cut into your quality. Cons: Not much; Only requires a good, working, site supervisor overseeing quality.

Remember, it’s not about making all your employees run faster to increase production rates. That only causes burnout, resentment and quality issues. It’s all about using the most “Efficient Method” to clean the building. Efficient cleaning methods always equal higher production rates and higher profit$!