Category Archives: Office Cleaning Services
Dust is omnipresent. It coats your counter tops, lines your floors, covers your carpets, floats in the air and settles on your body.
An organic or inorganic solid particle, dust is visible and invisible, ranges in size from below 1 µm up to around 100 µm – i.e. from microscopic particles to the consistency of grains of sand – and is released into the air either via natural decay or through man made processes. Dust is generally regarded as a nuisance that can cause minor and major health issues – including nasal irritation, itching, asthma, cough – and in worst cases, affect the brain, kidney and other organs.
SEE MORE: Benefits of a Healthy Work Environment
But there are several prevalent myths about dust that need to be addressed, so you could take proper precautionary measures to subvert negative consequences. Following are five (PLUS one) common ones:
1. Mopping eliminates all dust: While sweeping and swabbing your home regularly is definitely recommended, it does not remove all the dust. Dust is still present on your mattresses, pillows, sofas. Regular vacuums recirculate dust into the air, which then settles down on surfaces and into other hidden nooks and crevices. More importantly, dust is not produced just one time. It is constantly moving into your home through open doors and windows. Even internal appliances, fabric fibers and cooking can contribute to dust particulates in your home. Hence, it is near impossible to eliminate dust simply by vacuuming and mopping, although some vacuum cleaners equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter do a better job than regular vacuum cleaners.
2. Dust cannot be explosive: On the contrary, many products – including agricultural products, metals, chemical dusts, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, textiles and plastics – can become combustible dust in the right conditions and concentrations. In essence, any workplace that generates dust is at risk. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety
3. Household Dust is Not Toxic: Household dust is made up of several components, depending on your locality, weather conditions, cooking preferences, lifestyle and so on – and, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT mostly human skin cells. It is a complicated and icky mixture of internal and external pollutants, some of which are toxic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that a common household toxin is chemical flame retardant, which has been added to several everyday items, such as TV, computers and furniture. These chemicals have been known to ‘escape’ or ‘shed’ from products and settle as household dust, which can prove quite harmful to your family, especially to young children. Periodically cleaning your home with special-filter vacuums and wet mops, along with dust-proofing hard-to-reach crevices, might help minimize the negative side effects of these unfortunate toxins.
4. Dust and Dust Mites Are the Same: In actuality, dust and dust mites mean different things. While dust is an accumulation of tiny, non-living particulates from various natural and man made sources – and are generally suspended in air – dust mites are living organisms that are tinier than dust particles and feed on shed human cells. Most of the allergies occur due to our intolerance to the fecal matter of such dust mites. Dust mites – like any fungi – thrive in humid environments, so a dehumidifier will go a long way in negating their presence!
5. All Kinds of Dust Pose Similar Hazards: As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the health risks associated with dust particles varies depending on the type of dust and the exposure to the dust. The exposure, in turn, depends on the air concentration, particle size and length of exposure. The particle size determines how long it remains suspended in air and where it gets deposited in the respiratory tract. In addition, whether you inhale through your mouth or your nose, and how long you hold your breath, affect the impact of the dust particles. Inhalable dust (less than 100 microns) enter the mouth and nose during normal breathing; Thoracic Dust (less than 10 microns) are particles that will pass through nose and throat to reach the lungs, while Respirable Dust – the smallest dust particulates of less than 5 microns – penetrate into the gas exchange region of the lungs, making them the most hazardous for your health. This way, the effect of dust depends on a gamut of factors, and it is crucial to take timely and apposite preventative measures depending on the type of particle.
Now, for the +1 myth that deserves to be noted:
Dust Has NO Benefits: Dust has gotten a bad rap – and quite deservedly. They are scratchy, itchy and simply a pesky pain in our lives. HOWEVER, just like there are two sides to everything, dust too has its benefits. Dust particles scatter sunlight in all directions, which prevents our surroundings from turning completely dark for around couple hours around sunset. Also, the scintillating and multi-hued twilights, sunrises and sunsets could be attributed to dust particulates suspended in air. Finally, certain types of dust particles – called condensation nuclei – retain moisture and cause rain
Hopefully, busting these myths help you better understand the enigmatic phenomenon of dust. You can now take appropriate measures to incorporate a healthier lifestyle at home and outside.
One of the largest expenses for businesses today is caused by downtime and health care related costs. One of the easiest ways to provide an environment that promotes health rather than puts it at risk is by switching to green cleaning products. You can save money by creating a safer working environment for everyone in your office. Take the necessary steps to make your company into a greener place work and you could reap the benefits of reduced healthcare costs and less sick time used per year.
While it is difficult to do heavy commercial cleaning without any chemicals, there are ways to greatly reduce their impact. Green cleaning products are made of ingredients that are more favorable to the environment and less toxic to humans. By not using harsh cleaning chemicals you can ultimately reduce sick time and many illnesses. Think of it this way, your employees spend 8-10 hours a day at work, this much exposure to toxic chemicals can have a profound effect on their health. They will appreciate your efforts to improve their working conditions.
Toxic chemicals can cause skin irritation, respiratory distress, asthma and other illnesses. Studies have shown that working in a clean environment increases productivity, happiness and health.
SEE MORE: 5 Advantages to Green Cleaning
In addition to making employees healthier and more productive, going green can also save you money as these products bought in bulk can often be less costly. The two savings combined can mean a huge recovery of funds for your company.
Green cleaning isn’t only about bottles full of less harmful chemicals but can also reference using high efficiency vacuum cleaners, HEPA filters, preventative maintenance and reusable materials. Many companies are getting educated on green cleaning and hiring cleaning companies that are experienced in green cleaning products and procedures.
To hear what a green commercial cleaning company can do for your business, fill out the form to the left.
Holidays mean food, family and fun. But they also mean clutter, cleaning and chaos!
Although Image One Facilities is a commercial cleaning company, we are often asked about tips on how to clean up after a holiday or a party at home.
So we decided to come up with five simple holiday cleaning tips that will allow you to enjoy your festivities without getting frustrated about the post-holiday cleanup:
- Use Disposable Cutlery: Why take on more mess when you can eliminate nearly half the clutter using disposable cutlery?! Washing your cooking utensils is enough of a headache. Do not stress yourself some more by scrubbing those spoons, forks, plates and knives. If plastic is not for you, there are other options like disposable wooden-ware that can help you out immensely. An additional tip is to cover your tables with a protector sheet. You could then easily wipe off the grime using a spray and a rag or just toss the sheet into the bin.
- Soak Grimy Pots and Pans: Do not let your grimy pots and pans sit outside for too long. The grunge will harden and it will become much harder to scrub them later. Instead, soak them immediately in warm water and add a dollop of dishwater detergent. This will soften the stains, making it much easier to clean them later.
- Take Out the Trash Periodically: With the gift-wrappings and ribbons and other trash, chances are your bins will fill up quickly! Don’t wait to take them out. Instead, dump your trash in your outside receptacle immediately. This will not only make your home look beautiful, you will also FEEL better without all the dirty trash lying around. We would also encourage to spray some gentle room fresheners every once in a while to keep your home smelling fresh and clean all day.
- Wipe Spills and Other Easy Stains Immediately: We are not asking you to run around with a spray and rag the whole day! But you would have to give your home a good dusting once the party dies down and the guests leave. So why not make this process easier by taking care of the simpler stains – like spills on your coffee table – immediately?! Cakey stains can be quite irritating and depressing. Hence, it is also psychologically better to get rid of them as soon as possible. The less you have to do, the better you will feel about the cleaning process.
- Ask for Help: Don’t try to be a superhero and do everything yourself! You deserve to enjoy your party too. Hence, it is OKAY to ask your guests to pitch in with some simple duties, like wiping the dishes or taking out the trash. Eliciting their help will also allow you to spend more time with your family and friends, instead of you being holed up in a kitchen while the others have fun.
Holidays are supposed to be restful, happy times. We hope our five simple cleaning tips help you enjoy these merry moments.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a fantastic year ahead – love deeply, live simply and laugh wholeheartedly.
Happy Holidays, friends!
Learning was FUN at ISSA 2013: Las Vegas
Industry trade shows and conventions are melting pots of ideas that spark innovation, collaboration and growth within a community. They are especially useful for small business owners like me to communicate and connect with the best in our industry.
I – along with Steve and Michael from Team Image One – had the incredible opportunity to attend the ISSA Trade Show and Convention held in Las Vegas last week, from November 18 to November 21
ISSA – a Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association – is committed to ‘advancing clean and driving innovation’ through sponsored events, such as educational seminars and interactive annual global conferences.
The ISSA Show is a great opportunity to see what new and innovative ideas and equipment are emerging in our industry. It’s the one show that brings all the manufacturers, distributors, building service contractors and “in house” facility service teams to one place each year.
Each year, I come with an open mind and learn something new about our industry. Be it innovations in equipment, new software, advancements in cleaning techniques or systems to improve operations, there is something for everyone to learn.
This year too, the show was replete with motivating keynote speeches and engaging colloquiums that offered invaluable tips and strategies on operations development, customer service, cleaning best practices, sales and marketing guidance, leadership empowerment and brand growth.
Click on this link to gather more information about ISSA 2013: http://www.issa.com/?id=tshow_issa_interclean_las_vegas_2013&lg=
I would definitely recommend that you watch the embedded keynote speech by the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, who shares some valuable ‘secrets’ about how to build a respected, long-lasting brand based on a strong focus on quality customer service and interactive company culture.
Aside from these scheduled events, I enjoy attending such trade shows to get closer to and communicate with fellow entrepreneurs. It’s very humbling to learn from and share with like-minded individuals who are experiencing similar challenges. Finally, participating in conferences is a fun way to generate goodwill for your company and strengthen your brand image within your industry.
To sum up, I had a wonderful time interacting with my peers and other industry mavens at this year’s ISSA Trade Show Convention.
ISSA Orlando 2014, here I come!
What about you? Do you enjoy attending trade shows and conventions?
Effective cleaning in the workplace can reduce office hazards. It helps you accomplish tasks easily and safely. With regular office cleaning, you can increase your business’ productivity and efficiency. Poor housekeeping is often one of the reasons for accidents and injuries. Your employees will get sick frequently, which can cost you money.
Business cleaning is an investment. It can help improve your bottom line, the environment, and the health of your workforce. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on office cleaning. Allotting a reasonable amount of your budget for commercial cleaning, however, can do a lot for your business and give you sizable returns.
Cost of Absences
Each employee takes an average of 7.7 sick days per year. This translates to about $225.8 billion annually. Common reasons for not going to work are flu symptoms and exposure to allergens or dust. Performance in the workplace decreases by three to eight percent when employees develop flu symptoms. Exposure to dust or allergens can affect your employees’ cognitive skills by as much as six percent. Furthermore, unplanned absences can reduce your company’s productivity by more than half, which may reduce your customer service or sales by 39%.
Having a well-planned injury and illness prevention program in the office can help you maximize your workforce, reduce unexpected expenses, and increase efficiency. Identifying hazards and controlling risks are essential parts of this program. Knowing the equipment or areas in your workplace with high levels of contamination helps you determine the right course of action to take. Once you know these areas, think about hiring Chicago cleaning services for your office.
Reasons You Should Invest in Office Cleaning
The Real Value of Cleanliness
The secret to a safe and efficient office is to keep it clean and minimize dangers in the workplace. Having a clean facility can help increase profits and improve customer loyalty, especially when clients always visit your office or store. Don’t put your employees and customers at risks of diseases and accidents by not managing your office properly. Regular cleaning can go a long way.
The best way to keep your office clean is to hire a professional staff to manage your workplace. Outsourcing your office cleaning needs is a convenient way of preventing diseases in the office. As you’re not using your in-house resources, you won’t have to worry about decreased productivity. Your employees can focus better on their primary office roles. With a dependable and professional commercial cleaning service, you can improve safety in the office without sacrificing productivity.
With clean surroundings, you can increase employee morale, reduce stress, and create a positive ambiance in the workplace. All these can lead to a higher return of investment in a short time.
Take the first step to a safer and healthier workplace. Look for a commercial cleaning service that you can trust. The right company must know how to respond to your needs and must care about your employees as much as you do. In Chicago, you don’t have to look too far. Image One Facility Solutions offers professional janitorial services to businesses of all types and sizes. Contact us for more information about our company and services.
Outsourcing your cleaning to a responsible janitorial company will make your business more productive, cost-effective and efficient. By delegating cleaning services to an outside firm, you will automatically free up more time to focus on your core competency (or Unique Service Proposition), thereby giving you a competitive edge and improving the bottom line of your business. Below are three main reasons to outsource your cleaning services:
(a) Ensures Professional-Grade Quality of Cleaning
Would you allow your Financial Manager to undertake the duties of an HR Consultant?! No! Because you recognize that their expertise lies in different areas and, therefore, your company will be better off harnessing their respective talents.
Similarly, commercial janitorial businesses have an expertise in cleaning. They are well-appraised with the current technologies – such as green cleaning techniques – have a wonderful training and communication system in place and promise consistently high-quality cleaning in a cost-effective manner. Image One Facility Solutions, for instance, has a proven training and support system for its employees and franchisees, ensuring that they are well-qualified and well-trained to deliver high-quality cleaning services.
Check out the video below where Tim Conn, Image One’s founder, talk about why outsourcing is a good idea:
In-house resources would find it very hard to replicate the professional-grade quality of cleaning offered by companies with an expertise in this field. Also, remember that commercial janitorial businesses are accountable for their level of service, as specified by the contract. Hence, you can rest assured that they will do their best to make your company look aesthetically beautiful and functionally efficient!
(b) Saves Tangible and Intangible Costs
You might wonder how employing another company to clean your business can save money! Sounds counter-productive, right?! Not really. Think about it.
If you do not outsource your cleaning services then you have one of two options:
- You employ people specifically for this purpose, which means you are responsible for their salary, leave package, retirement plans and any other operational costs, much like a normal company. However, by outsourcing your services, the cleaning company will now be responsible for all these costs. You would have a specified contract with the cleaning company wherein you agree to pay for their services, either periodically or on an as-needed basis. In other words, you save money because the cleaning company would have absorbed most of these tangible costs
- You utilize existing employees for cleaning, which implies that their responsibilities will be spread thin, thereby lowering their morale, increasing their stress levels and decreasing their productivity. These are intangible costs you can live without! Outsourcing your janitorial services will not only allow your employees to focus on their originally assigned tasks, but will also result in a much cleaner (and healthier) environment where you, your employees and your company can thrive and prosper.
(c) Allows for Flexibility and Scalability
As mentioned above, utilizing in-house resources to clean can lead to tangible and intangible losses, along with diminished productivity.
One of the primary reasons in-house resources don’t work is because of their rigidity. When you employ a few employees just for cleaning purposes, it’s possible that there will be down-times when their services seem either unwanted or too expensive. Unfortunately, you are still stuck with paying the same salary and perks. It’s like having a ‘permanent’ albatross around your neck!
On the other hand, outsourcing your cleaning services brings in flexibility and scalability to your operation. A good janitorial company will adapt their services to suit your budgetary and operational needs. You can either contract these services periodically or schedule them on an as-needed basis, ensuring that every penny you spent has been utilized efficiently. In other words, you get your bang for your buck!
So, you see, outsourcing your cleaning services does help! However, keep in mind that choosing the right cleaning company is very important. A less-than-efficient janitorial business will offer you none of the aforementioned advantages, instead hurting you in the long run.
Hence, choose a commercial cleaning service that is responsive to your needs, and watch your productivity and efficiency grow!
Image One Facility Cleaning Solutions offers its janitorial services for offices around Chicago. Call us at 630.616.1010 or submit our online form on the left to obtain a FREE Quote today
3 Things to Look for when Choosing a Commercial Cleaning Service
The cleanliness and quality of maintenance of your facility is an indicator of your credibility and professionalism. There are multiple benefits of hiring a commercial office cleaning service, such as saving your company time and money, improving the health and efficiency of your workforce and presenting a professionally appealing office to your clients.
However, the ‘wrong’ cleaning company might actually prove detrimental in many ways. For instance, poor quality of service could lead to premature suspension of contracts and an unnecessary loss of time, manpower and money to find a new commercial janitorial business, thereby creating a dent in your overall profits and production.
It, therefore, becomes paramount to choose among the various cleaning companies after carefully evaluating their services on certain significant criteria to determine whether it has the potential to form a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with you. Most businesses evaluate commercial cleaning companies based on their experience, price and customer service, which is understandable, given that they are the most basic selection criteria.
However, following are three other important, but often ignored, features that you should look for while selecting a commercial cleaning service. These will give your company a competitive advantage (and save costs) in today’s technologically-advanced, customer-driven and environmentally-conscious world.
a. Training and Monitoring of Employees
It is easy to discount the importance of training while selecting your janitorial service by believing that anyone can pick up a scrub and brush to become a cleaner! But this kind of thinking isn’t smart. Like in any other career, a trained janitor is a more efficient employee. With new products and techniques arriving in the market at a high pace, it becomes extremely desirable to choose a commercial cleaning company that offers periodic and up-to-date training to keep its employees knowledgeable and effective.
In addition, a commercial janitorial service that keeps track of its employees is a company that is willing to be accountable for their actions, which is a definite plus. Technological advances have made it possible for companies to effectively monitor performance and other benchmarks. Hence, a cleaning service that goes this extra mile to offer you the highest quality of service is unquestionably a good candidate!
b. Customization of Offerings
Cleaning a medical office isn’t the same as cleaning a school or an auto dealership, right?! Every client (and facility) has their specific requirements, and a ‘one-‘broom’-fits-all’ policy, therefore, does not work! Choose a commercial cleaning service that understands your needs and tailors its offerings to satisfy them. A janitorial business that works WITH you is vital to develop a trustworthy relationship that boosts your profitability AND productivity. In other words, a flexible commercial cleaning company is a favorable choice.
c. Green Cleaning Services
The world is ‘going green.’ As more people embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle, choosing a commercial cleaning company that utilizes ‘green’ products and practices offers myriad advantages, such as:
- Safer and healthier employees, which automatically implies a more positive mindset and better performance.
- Delivering a much higher value (than by using cleaning companies that use regular products), especially because cleaning companies who adopt environmentally-sustainable methods to clean offices are often also cognizant about conserving water and electricity – thereby saving your operational costs – and propagate recycling and eco-friendly dispensing techniques.
- Improving YOUR overall brand image: your customers will be proud to be associated with someone who makes such responsible choices.
We believe that professional cleaning and maintenance not only protects a facility’s value but strengthens work productivity and the organization’s professional image. Therefore, a commercial office cleaning company that is the most responsive to your needs, accountable for its services and willing to make environmentally-safe choices must surely be considered before making your final selection.
Image One Facility Cleaning Solutions offers its janitorial services for offices around Chicago. Call us at 630.616.1010 or submit our online form to obtain a FREE Quote today
Choosing the right Price – which is one of the 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix - determines your profitability, client satisfaction AND employee satisfaction. When it comes to the amount you should charge for your services, two questions need to be answered: (a) How much is too much? (b) How less is too less?
You shouldn’t price your services so high that your clients get antagonized; at the same time, it shouldn’t be priced too low to suggest poor quality. In effect, your pricing should be carefully chosen after researching the various influencing factors, such as:
(a) Marketing Objective: Everything you do must serve to fulfill your marketing objective. Your rates might change depending on whether you want to penetrate an existing market, enter a new market or create your own niche in an existing market.
(b) Supply and Demand: If supply > demand, it’s a ‘customer’s industry’, implying that you cannot charge very high rates and HAVE to take into account your competitor’s rates. If supply < demand, you have more leeway to set your own rates since your service becomes ‘unique’. In the janitorial service industry, supply IS greater than demand, and hence you must rely more on service differentiation than price differentiation to attract and retain customers. That is, you should differentiate yourself with the type, level and quality of service than the price
(c) Competition Pricing: This is closely related to the aforementioned factor of supply and demand. The amount you charge should take into account your competitor’s pricing, unless you have a very good reason to charge a higher price. (A unique service – for instance – might definitely call for a higher price.)
(d) Frequency of Services: The amount you charge also depends on whether it’s a contract or one-time job. A contract job generally involves periodic cleaning and such clients should be charged a lower price or a ‘price package’ compared to jobs that only require one-time cleaning.
(e) Type of Job: The pricing also depends on the type of job – such as whether you are cleaning a big building or small building; a medical office or a library! Certain jobs demand higher quality than others, and these can be priced higher.
Click on the link to learn more about the various factors influencing how much you should charge: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/charge-janitorial-services-12231.html
Make the right choice for a profitable business!
Unless you are a non-profit organization, we imagine you want to own a profitable business! Profits can be defined as the mathematical difference between revenue and costs. In other words, as long as your revenue (money earned) is higher than your cost (money spent), you will reap some profit.
The janitorial industry is, unfortunately, cost-heavy. Cleaning products and equipment – the cornerstones of your business – cost money. Hence, it becomes harder for cleaning businesses to increase profits. But, despair not, for there are ways to make profits and keep your business alive, while continuing to satisfy your clients. Some useful techniques include: (a) ‘Cleaning’ up your business to ensure that only profitable services are offered – unprofitable services should be removed in order to reduce unnecessary cost and avoid losses; (b) improving productivity by using effective equipment and well-trained employees; (c) managing your prices and expenses intelligently – for instance, unrealistically low prices will not only lead to losses, but might also lower your brand equity
Click on the link to watch a video that outlines six useful techniques to improve profits: http://www.cleaningbiz.tv/2013/06/63-6-ways-increase-profits-cleaning-business/