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    6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 25, 2008 6:24 PM by pgt324


    AdminAsst75 Newbie

      I am new to this group. I have a question about housekeeping etiquette in the office. It has been my understanding for the past 13 years that I have worked in an office environment that companies have a housekeeping service that takes care of emptying trash cans, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, etc. The company I work at now recently bought their own two-story building and has made the decision not to hire a cleaning service but to make their employees do it. I am not comfortable with this and feel it is not my job to clean - I was not hired as a maid. Is this proper business etiquette?


        • Re: Cleaning...
          Bluesuit Adventurer
          Welcome! It sounds like the business is making cutbacks to reduce costs by no longer paying for the cleaning services. If the business was unfairly assuming that a few people would do the cleaning, then I would see your concern. If all is expected to take care of their own trash, etc. then it doesn't seem that unreasonable given the economic environment.

          BUT if this is truly bothersome for you why not talk to a few other collegues and maybe you can identify another way to save the business money. Who knows? Maybe people spend too much money on paper cups and birthday cakes, etc. and if you eliminated those costs - it could be enough to bring back the cleaners?
          • Re: Cleaning...
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Cleaning, Welcome

            Who are you??, Where are you?? How many people on staff??

            You are opening a can or worms (no pun intended).
            I am sure you will get some great answers like "how much do you value your job"
            to the "spirit of co-operation" and finally will it effect the outcome of tomorrows
            Presidential Election.

            Vote, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Cleaning...
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              While I understand your desire to not have to do housekeeping (I don't like it either), the employer is paying the employee for the work being done, and therefore the employer defines what is and isn't part of the job, not the employee. So long as what you are being asked to do is lawful, ethical, and safe -- and as long as you are being properly paid to do it -- then it IS your job. In many jurisdictions (state/local laws vary) refusing to perform an assigned task that is lawful, ethical, and safe would constitute insubordination and/or misconduct (the employer could terminate you, and you could be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits).

              The reason that many small businesses (mine included) hire or contract for office cleaning is that there are some inherent hazards associated with it. It's less expensive for me to contract for a service than it would be to provide all the training and equipment necessary to ensure that employees could do every aspect of it safely. My employees do help out, though (with things like dusting their own shelves, bagging their own trash and setting it by the door, etc.) -- which makes the cleaning service less expensive.

              Hope that provides the perspective you were seeking. Best wishes.
              • Re: Cleaning...
                Account.Mgr Newbie



                I hear your concern, but even without the current situations in our economy, alot of companies practice employee maintanance. In their eyes employees should be responsible enough to pick-up after theirselves. You stated you are not a maid, that is not what they are requiring you to be. They want you to make sure you maintain a clean environment. Even in companies that have cleaning services, they require staf to have some resposibility in the cleaning. Just think about it.



                • Re: Cleaning...
                  AdminAsst75 Newbie
                  Thanks for the advice - I can understand with the state of our economy, cutting back; I just wish my boss would have communicated to us (or me) that we were going to be responsible for the cleaning. In most jobs I have had in the past, the communication has been much better. Unfortuantely, this is not the case with my current employer. She just "hinted" to me this morning that we all have to take our part in helping out with the trash and cleaning but never sent an email or had a group meeting about it when we moved to this building in June of 2008.

                  We are a small company of 10 people yet we are in this huge building my boss bought back in December. Our old office was in an office park and the building management had a cleaning crew that came in around 5:15 pm every night to take out the trash and clean. Originally when we were getting ready to move, my boss had me contact different cleaning services and pass the information on to her. I guess she thought it was to expensive becasue she never had a cleaning crew come in and clean the building.

                  Again, thanks for the advice,

                  • Re: Cleaning...
                    pgt324 Newbie
                    I run a cleaning business and find this conversation interesting. I wonder if the owner of the business realizes that by making all employees do the cleaning they run the risk of raising their workers compensation rates. In my state and office employee's worker compsation rate is 1/5 of a cleaners. Off ice employees are prohibited from doing cleaning because of the chemicals and use of equipment. While most people think of dusting around their cubicle as the task, someone will have to clean the restrooms and kitchen, which will require cleaning chemicals to sanitize. This job will probably be rotated amoung different people because no one will wish to get stuck with it.

                    The cost of Workers comp being raised 500% would be more than the cost of a weekly cleaning service in all probability.