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A common misconception in this industry is that domestic cleaning is easy and almost anyone can do it. After all, most of us clean and tidy our own homes and manage to do a pretty good job, don’t we? However, there are a number of key factors that professional housekeeping services employ that sets them – and therefore the professional housekeeper – apart from the rest of us.
The first of these is:
1. TIME – We can take as long as we like to do our housework, and clean and tidy where we choose and when. In a professional situation, the client will employ their cleaner for a set number of hours per visit, which will consist of specific fixed tasks/room cleaning. Correct training will enable the housekeeper to ensure that all tasks are completed to the required standard within an agreed time frame. If there isn’t enough time to carry out all tasks, proper training will also teach the housekeeper how to deal with this situation. A well-managed, professional housekeeping company will have developed a system in which time issues are addressed, and will ensure that communication between clients, themselves and the housekeeper are constantly maintained so that service standards remain high but attainable within the client’s chosen time frame, and no pressure is put on the individual employee to deliver unrealistic demands. NB. At Email Mum, we go beyond the normal set task/room perimeters and offer our clients a bespoke service, which allows each homeowner to tailor their visits to their exact wants, which they can vary when required. This does mean, though, that the management of time is even more important, as each house’s requirements are very individual, and therefore being properly trained to deal with this is vital. For as we know, when we’re rushed and under pressure, we can make mistakes or have accidents, which leads us to:
2. CARE OF PROPERTY AND POSSESSIONS – It’s extremely important that a housekeeper is aware of what products to use on certain surfaces when cleaning other peoples’ properties and possessions. If not, accidental damage will almost certainly occur. For example, the ever-popular wooden floors (and some laminate) must be cleaned correctly to avoid swelling, you should never apply any product to a limestone surface and the common furniture polish can be a death sentence on certain furniture! So correct, thorough training is vital to avoid damage of property contents. It’s also good to know that this training is backed up with a strong insurance cover that a reputable managed company will provide for added protection and peace of mind to both client and housekeeper. But it’s not only damage to property that professional housekeepers must guard against; it’s also:
3. HEALTH & SAFETY ISSUES – Often overlooked, working safely within the domestic environment is so important. Delivering a high standard of home cleaning is physically demanding, and professional training in this area will help to avoid personal injury to the housekeeper. There’s also the knowledge required to ensure safe handling of cleaning chemicals and the use of PPE, all of which good training will provide. You’re familiar with the products you use in your own home but this is someone else’s property, and they’ll have their own tastes and requirements, which could mean you need:
4. SUPPORT WITH EXPECTATIONS/COMPLAINTS – Everyone sees things in different ways, so what to you might be an adequately cleaned room will, in someone else’s opinion, appear half-finished. Dealing with individual expectations, especially when they are negative, is another area in which good, supportive training will ensure that a satisfactory service is soon resumed without the client losing faith in the service or the housekeeper feeling demotivated or unsure of their ability to deliver a high standard of work. It also helps to have a strong support system behind you, to mediate and set any problems right, which management companies like Email Mum will always provide.