|Time is money. For the lodging industry, this is especially applicable when it comes to cleaning costs. Many facility managers assume they can multiply the number of guestrooms by some theoretical productivity rate to determine the time and resources needed to clean their hotels, but the results are generally inaccurate. Workloading, which involves calculating time standards for each task and area within the facility, is a reliable way to determine cleaning times. Before benchmarking your performance or developing staffing plans, consider the following steps to effectively workload your hotel.
1. Group like with like. Divide the building into areas that are cleaned in a similar way. While your area list will be unique to your facility, some groupings that make sense are all guestrooms; the lobby; the dining rooms, bars, and restaurants; and the pool and workout facilities.
2. Add up cleanable space. This is the area that is actually cleaned, not gross square feet. Take physical measurements—current CAD or scale drawings are the most efficient. The objective is to accurately gauge what needs to be cleaned and what type of surface is in each area (example 15,000 square feet of lobby tiles).
3. Factor in the task. Labor hours are dictated by the scope of work, which will have two parts: the actual task that needs to be performed (i.e. detailed vacuuming) and the number of times it is performed on an annual basis. This will give you the annual labor hours per task. For example, you may collect trash in a particular area 260 times a year. At 0.5 hours each time, this results in 130 labor hours.
4. Get a dollar figure. The final step is to determine your labor cost. To do this, multiply the total number of hours by the wage rate (adding a percentage to cover taxes, insurances, and benefits) to reach your burdened labor cost. To get a final cost estimate, add supply costs; equipment depreciation; miscellaneous job costs such as background checks, drug testing, uniforms, etc.; overhead; and administration and profit.
From ISSA, the global trade association for the cleaning industry. For more tips, visit www.issa.com.