Streamlining Your Office Cleaning Routine: Tips for Time-Saving

Keeping an office space clean and tidy is an essential part of any business. But it can also be time-consuming and eat into productivity if not done efficiently. For office managers and cleaning staff in London, optimizing your office cleaning routine can help save valuable time while still maintaining high standards. This article will provide tips and best practices for streamlining office cleaning to maximize efficiency.

Assessing Your Current Office Cleaning Routine

Before looking at how to improve your office cleaning methods, take some time to assess your current routine. Consider the following questions:

  • What are your current cleaning tasks and schedule?
  • Which tasks take the most time?
  • Are there inefficiencies in how cleaners move between areas or floors?
  • Are you using the best equipment and tools for the job?
  • What areas tend to get dirty the quickest?
  • How could workflow be improved between cleaning staff?

Observe and time each step of your existing process. Look for any redundancies or lag times that could be shortened. Knowing where the inefficiencies lie will help focus your optimization efforts.

Streamlining Equipment and Supply Setups

An organized inventory of cleaning supplies and standardized equipment stations can make a big difference in cleaning efficiency. Here are some tips:

  • Maintain a consistent supply inventory and reorder so items never run out.
  • Set up cleaning caddies, carts, or buckets with the tools and products needed for each area.
  • Position equipment stations on each floor or wing rather than transporting tools from a central closet each time.
  • Invest in quality commercial cleaning tools like vacuums, dusters, and scrubbers that save time.
  • Use color coding and labeling so anyone can quickly identify correct supplies.

Proper equipment setup takes some upfront effort but pays off greatly when cleaners aren’t wasting time searching for gear or tools.

Schedule Cleaning from Top to Bottom

Route your cleaning tasks so you start at the top of the office and work downward. This way, dust and debris falls to lower floors that haven’t been cleaned yet rather than onto finished surfaces.

  • Clean lights and ceiling fans first to avoid dust settling on already cleaned desks.
  • Vacuum and mop floor spaces last after furniture has been dusted and wiped down.
  • For multi-story buildings, begin on upper floors and work down floor by floor.

Scheduling cleaning tasks from top to bottom minimizes repeating tasks, as you won’t have to re-clean surfaces in the same space.

Divide and Conquer Assignments

Look for ways to divide and streamline cleaning assignments instead of one cleaner tackling multiple jobs. Some options include:

  • Split floors or rooms – assign different cleaners to different areas each shift.
  • Specialize cleaners so they repeatedly do the same tasks in all areas and become highly efficient at them.
  • Pair cleaners together with one dusting and one vacuuming rather than switching back and forth.
  • Hire cleanup crews that come in after-hours strictly for restocking and quick tidying.

Getting strategic with how cleaners are assigned to space and tasks allows them to develop expertise and remain in motion without jumping between jobs.

Standardize a Timed Cleaning Schedule

Develop a regular schedule where certain cleaning tasks are allotted specific time slots based on priority. For example:


  • 15 minutes per office: quick tidying of surfaces
  • 30 minutes per common room: clean tables, take out trash
  • 60 minutes total: vacuum and spot mop high traffic areas

Twice Weekly

  • 90 minutes per office: thorough dusting, glass cleaning, disinfecting surfaces
  • 90 minutes per bathroom: scrub floors, fixtures, replenish supplies


  • 120 minutes per office: full vacuum, wipe all surfaces, window washing
  • 180 minutes per common room: deep clean appliances, walls, floor scrubbing

Setting an established timed routine minimizes time wasted determining what should be done and when. Cleaners follow the schedule and move quickly between standardized tasks.

Leverage Cleaning Checklists

For each area, develop detailed cleaning checklists that act as step-by-step instructions for cleaners to follow. Checklists should include:

  • All surfaces and components to be cleaned
  • Cleaning methods and tools to use
  • Restocking duties
  • Special notes or precautions

Leave checklists in each space so cleaners can tick off completed items. This allows new cleaners to maintain consistency and eliminates guessing or overlooked tasks.

Take Advantage of Drain-Dry Time

When mopping floors, don’t wait around for them to dry. Use “drain-dry” times to clean adjacent areas.

  • After mopping a bathroom, move on to wiping counters and mirrors and replenishing supplies while floors air dry.
  • When mopping cafeteria floors, transition to cleaning tables and appliances and taking out trash while they dry.

Making use of the 10-30 minute floor drying times prevents wasted time waiting and allows continuous motion between tasks.

Focus on Quick Fixes In-Between

Schedule short, simple cleaning tasks that can be done quickly during downtimes:

  • Keep disinfectant wipes at cleaning stations for spot cleaning glass doors or wiping handrails whenever passing.
  • Carry trash bags while moving between areas to quickly dispose of debris.
  • Program quicker bathroom checks on off-peak hours to briefly tidy and restock.

Sprinkling in these lightning-fast touch ups keeps things tidier without major time expenditures.

Streamline Transport Between Areas

Minimize transition times when cleaners must move between different floors or far-off areas.

  • Use centralized cleaning supply closets on each floor rather than one closet for the whole building.
  • Store additional tools with the on-site cleaning staff to avoid walking tools up and down.
  • If covering a large campus, assign cleaners to smaller zone areas rather than excessive walking.

Reducing transit times keeps cleaners in their assigned areas longer and maximizes time spent on actual cleaning duties.

Schedule Larger Tasks During Off-Peak Hours

When offices are closed for the evening or weekend, schedule larger cleaning jobs.

  • Thorough carpet vacuum and floor scrubbing when workers aren’t around.
  • Dusting blinds, washing windows and doors without disruptions.
  • Removing trash cans for deep cleaning when they aren’t in use.

Tackling major cleaning tasks during off-peak times results in less interference and more flexibility without workers in the space.

Streamline Inventory and Restocking

Disorganized supplies that run out frequently slow down cleaning progress. Streamline restocking procedures:

  • Set par stock levels for each supply and reorder when quantities hit certain thresholds.
  • Monitor inventory with tracking sheets to know when items need replenishing.
  • Restock all items on cleaning checklists at once rather than repeated trips.
  • Use mobile caddies to transport large batches of supplies directly to areas.

Advanced planning and preparation for restocking removes last-minute shortages and allows cleaners to power through tasks without running around for missing items.

Leverage Technology for Monitoring and Reporting

Technology tools can optimize cleaning management:

  • Use logbooks, shared drives, or apps to track what has been cleaned when and by who.
  • Develop quick cleaning audit reports or inspections to ensure quality consistency.
  • Use sensor systems to monitor soap and paper towel dispensers so they never run out.
  • Consider automated scrubbers or vacuums that boost efficiency.

Embracing technology improves productivity tracking, reduces wastage, and enhances overall cleaning performance.

Provide Ongoing Training

Even seasoned cleaning staff benefit from occasional training refreshers:

  • Review new cleaning products, tools, or methods and train staff on proper usage.
  • Revisit the standardized schedule and checklists and make sure they are being followed.
  • Identify areas for improvement through audits and address with retraining.
  • Conduct hands-on training to improve technique, speed, and efficiency.

Refresher training ensures cleaners don’t fall into bad habits and are using the most optimal methods.

Implement a Continuous Improvement Approach

Regularly examine your cleaning routine for additional refinement opportunities:

  • Encourage supervisor and cleaner feedback on issues they encounter and solving them together.
  • Audit cleaning quality in all areas and analyze gaps that need improvement.
  • Research new cleaning technology and tools that may improve productivity.
  • Review processes quarterly and update schedules, checklists, or assignments as needed.

Ongoing, incremental enhancements ensure your cleaning program continues to gain efficiency over time.


Optimizing office cleaning operations involves an investment of time and planning. But implementing standardized processes, schedules, equipment setups, and technology can lead to major long-term productivity gains. Spending the effort to create cleaning efficiencies allows cleaning professionals to maintain sparkling office environments while also staying on-time and on-budget. By following these tips, office managers and cleaning providers across London can build a streamlined cleaning routine that checks every box.

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