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Clock In, Clean Up: Time Studies' Role in Commercial Cleaning Efficiency

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in a large manufacturing building is a challenging task. Janitorial work crews play a crucial role in ensuring that these spaces remain safe and productive for employees. However, improving efficiency in janitorial operations is often overlooked. One valuable tool that can significantly enhance the performance of janitorial work crews is time studies. In this article, we will explore how time studies can help improve the efficiency of a janitorial work crew in a large manufacturing building.

Understanding Time Studies

Time studies, also known as work measurement or time and motion studies, involve a systematic analysis of work processes to identify and eliminate inefficiencies. In the context of janitorial work, a time study aims to determine the optimal time required to complete specific tasks. This data can be invaluable in optimizing cleaning processes, resource allocation, and workforce management.

Benefits of Time Studies for Janitorial Work

  • Task Optimization: Time studies allow for a detailed examination of each cleaning task, breaking them down into specific steps. This helps identify which tasks take the most time and which can be streamlined for better efficiency. For example, understanding how long it takes to clean a specific area can lead to improvements in task assignments and the scheduling of janitorial work.

  • Resource Allocation: By understanding the time it takes to complete each task, facility managers can allocate resources more effectively. This includes determining the number of staff needed, the quantity of cleaning supplies required, and the scheduling of cleaning shifts to match peak production times in a manufacturing facility.

  • Improved Workforce Management: Time studies enable better workforce management by providing insights into employee performance. Supervisors can identify areas where additional training or support is needed and make informed decisions regarding staffing levels. This leads to a more balanced and efficient workforce.

  • Quality Control: Time studies also help in setting standards for the quality of work performed. By tracking the time taken for tasks, managers can ensure that cleaning standards are met consistently. This, in turn, can enhance the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the manufacturing facility.

  • Cost Savings: Efficiency improvements resulting from time studies can lead to cost savings. By reducing the time required to complete tasks, you can lower labor costs, reduce overtime, and minimize resource wastage, which all contribute to a more cost-effective janitorial operation.

Steps for Implementing Time Studies

  • Task Identification: Begin by identifying the cleaning tasks that need to be studied. This can range from sweeping and mopping to cleaning restrooms and disposing of waste.

  • Data Collection: Record the time taken to complete each task accurately. This should include the time it takes for set-up and cleaning, as well as any breaks or delays.

  • Analysis: Once the data is collected, analyze it to identify areas where efficiency can be improved. Look for patterns and common bottlenecks in the cleaning process.

  • Implement Changes: Based on the analysis, implement changes to optimize the cleaning process. This could involve adjusting work schedules, providing additional training, or improving access to cleaning supplies and equipment.

  • Regular Review: Time studies should not be a one-time effort. Regularly review and update the data and the cleaning processes to ensure ongoing efficiency improvements.


Time studies are a valuable tool in enhancing the efficiency of janitorial work crews in large manufacturing buildings. By identifying and addressing inefficiencies in cleaning tasks, time studies can lead to cost savings, improved workforce management, and higher standards of cleanliness. To achieve the best results, it is essential for facility managers and janitorial supervisors to embrace this systematic approach to cleaning process improvement. Ultimately, a cleaner and more efficient manufacturing facility can contribute to a safer and more productive work environment for all.

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