Outsourcing Cleaning Services—Is It Worth It?

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Man cleaning a stair railing outside a building

Let’s face it — you don’t have much of a choice about whether or not to keep a clean workspace. But you can decide who cleans it. Do you have an in-house team or outsource your cleaning services?

On one side of the argument, outsourcing has its advantages — faster results and less responsibility for you. But on the flip side, having control over the process with an in-house team may be worth sacrificing some efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explore outsourcing and in-house cleaning. It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. By weighing the pros and cons, you can decide what will give your business the most bang for its buck.

Outsourced Cleaning vs. In-House: The Differences

When outsourcing your cleaning services, you are essentially hiring a team of professionals to do the job for you. This means that they have the expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Plus, outsourcing requires minimal effort from you all you have to do is sign off on the contract and let them in the front door.

While in-house cleaning is a more hands-on approach, it can also be less expensive in the long run. In-house cleaners are often more invested in your company and will take greater ownership over the space, which can lead to them going the extra mile to finally scrub the inside of the breakroom microwave. For a small business, you may not even need a cleaning staff. Perhaps a chore chart can keep everything tidy for day-to-day operations.

Where you really see the difference between outsourcing and in-house cleaning is in the services available. Sweeping the entryway with a push broom is not the same as pressure washing your sidewalk. If you’re not prepared to invest in the equipment and training to keep up with more complex cleaning and maintenance tasks, an in-house team will struggle in the long run. 

When deciding between outsourcing and in-house cleaning, consider factors like budget, personnel resources, and special requirements. While outsourcing may be more expensive in some cases, the cost is often offset by the convenience and expert knowledge of a professional team.

Professional window cleaners work on a high-rise building

Benefits of Outsourcing Cleaning Services

Outsourcing has many positives to offer, and these points are especially true for big businesses or large structures like a school or government building.

1. Expertise

When outsourcing cleaning services, you are partnering with experienced professionals who know the ins and outs of their job. Assuming you hire a trusted company, you’re going to receive a much higher quality of work than an in-house team can provide.

Cleaning might seem simple until you think about it at scale. Efficiently and safely cleaning a warehouse, for example, requires some strategy and industrial-grade tools. 

Some cleaning tasks require specialized equipment. For instance, high dusting a vaulted ceiling is something that most companies will put off, but the dust buildup can lead to allergies and poor air quality in the building.

Bringing in a team that knows what they’re doing, has the equipment, and can work around your business operations with minimum disruption is often well worth the phone call.

2. Cost Savings

It seems counterintuitive — usually hiring a cleaning company would be more expensive than doing it yourself, right? That’s not always true. The cost savings of outsourcing cleaning services are numerous. 

Compared to an in-house cleaning team, outsourced cleaners don’t require you to pay them insurance and benefits. You also don’t have to pay for hiring or training, and you are not responsible for maintaining cleaning equipment and supplies.  

There’s also the opportunity cost of doing cleaning work yourself. Outsourcing allows you to focus on core business operations, and this means more time and money spent on marketing and expanding your company.

Get a quote for janitorial services from several different companies, and ask about savings options. Maybe you only need cleaning once per week instead of every day, for instance. Comparing quotes can further increase your savings. 

3. Flexible Scheduling

Outsourcing cleaning services also allows you to take advantage of flexible scheduling as companies typically provide services on-demand, meaning you can have them come in when you need them the most.

You might have a hard time convincing your staff to come in after hours to clean, but a professional company may offer overnight cleaning as a regular service.

4. Increased Productivity

Chances are, outsourcing your cleaning needs will result in increased productivity for your company. The fact that outsourcing involves a team of professionals means more work is done in less time. This leaves you with more time for other important tasks.

Not to forget, outsourcing cleaning services can also be extremely helpful in times of crisis. Specialty cleaning services can arrive for one-time jobs like an overflowing drain or burst pipe. If something needs to be done quickly, outsourcing can provide the extra help you need without having to hire additional staff.

5. Improved Safety

When you outsource your cleaning services, you are more likely to have each job completed correctly and in compliance with the highest safety standards. At the very least, your company won’t bear the liability if a cleaner is injured while working. Professional cleaning companies are knowledgeable about the potential risks and hazards associated with cleaning tasks and they take the necessary precautions to ensure they complete their jobs without accident or injury.

At Seattle Commercial Cleaners, we approach each service contract individually, tailoring our services to provide thorough, affordable solutions to the business’s most pressing needs. We have offices in Seattle, WA, and we work with companies of all sizes in the surrounding metropolitan areas. Contact us for a free quote.

Considerations Before Outsourcing Your Cleaning

The decision to outsource your cleaning services involves a certain degree of trust. A commercial cleaning company that cuts corners or fails to properly vet their staff can cause more headaches than it’s worth. Here are five considerations to make sure you’re hiring the right team.

1. Quality of Service

The most important thing to consider when outsourcing cleaning services is the quality of service. Make sure you do your research and find a cleaning company that has a good reputation and a proven track record of providing top-notch services.

The last thing you want is to outsource and end up with a lower standard of cleanliness than when you had an in-house team. Because outsourcing involves a third party, it’s important to ensure that the company you’re partnering with is reliable and trustworthy.

Although an in-house team may understand all of your cleaning needs, outsourcing can result in cleaners who fail to understand the nuances of your business. For example, a medical office may have specialized equipment that needs to be handled in a certain way, so it’s important that you work with a cleaning company that takes the time to learn and listen to your preferences. 

Look for:

  • Associate memberships
  • Positive reviews
  • Available customer service
  • A willingness to create customized cleaning plans for your business 

2. Cost

It often comes down to the numbers. In many cases, outsourcing cleaning is cheaper when compared to in-house teams because you aren’t paying employment costs, but an outsourced cleaning services contract can still seem pricey. 

It’s helpful to know that much of that pricing goes into the overhead — travel expenses for technicians, disposal fees for hazardous materials, supplies needed for the job, and so on. Talk with your cleaning service provider about ways to bundle services. For example, you may save by having multiple cleaning services provided on the same day.

Conversely, be wary of quotes that are too good to be true. If a company offers to clean your building for an incredibly cheap price, you have to wonder what corners they’re cutting.

Look for:

  • Free estimates
  • Flexible contracts — don’t pay for a service line you don’t need
  • Transparent pricing

3. Flexibility

If you need to make changes to your cleaning schedule, can the company accommodate it? Ask about options, such as daytime or after-hours cleaning, as well as the company’s policy around adjusting service agreements.

Look for:

  • Customized cleaning plans and a willingness to meet your business’s needs
  • A large enough company that they can handle your scheduling requests

4. Risk Assessment

When outsourcing a task, there is always the risk that the job won’t be done properly or on time. This could result in costly repairs or delays. But with an in-house team, you have more control over the process and can ensure that it is completed to your exact specifications.

Also when outsourcing cleaning services, there is also the risk that confidential information might leak out or could be compromised in some way. For this reason, make sure that your outsourcing partner is trustworthy and has the proper security measures in place.

Look for:

  • A company that respects your security protocols
  • Quality guarantees
  • Fully insured companies

5. Skill Sets

Outsourced teams usually have more experience in a particular task than an in-house team, especially for highly technical tasks that require specific skills. Ask about a company’s training procedures or vetting process before you hire them. See if they bring the experience you need.

Look for:

  • Companies that invest in training
  • Strict vetting processes to find qualified cleaners

Finding the Right Team

In conclusion, outsourcing cleaning services can be a great way to gain access to specialized skills and knowledge while saving both time and money. It is important to consider all of the above factors before deciding on outsourcing or in-house cleaning services to ensure that you’re making the right choice. 

Seattle Commercial Cleaners is your go-to outsourcing option for all of your cleaning needs in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma. We provide the highest quality services, unmatched expertise, and unparalleled customer service to ensure you receive the best outsourcing experience.

Contact us now for an estimate!