An Unexpected Office Cleaning Encounter

“Your number one goal is to make your office cleaning performance felt without the customers ever noticing you!” My first cleaning instructor’s words still resonate whenever I take on a new assignment. Unlike almost any other subfield in the industry, office cleaning is about adjusting to the customer’s needs and requirements. One of your top priorities is to perform all cleaning tasks without interfering with the work of the office employees. It is a scheduling challenge which most office cleaning contractors solve by fixing the appointments on weekends – the perfect time to do your job while the premises are empty.

It was certainly the logic when we booked the appointment for a large 12 000 square feet office in a commercial skyscraper on Eastbourne Terrace, in the heart of Paddington. It was a massive job, and I knew my crew would need at least five hours to cover it. So the office maintenance manager and I agreed that the perfect time for the appointment would be Saturday morning, between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. The task sheet included carpet washing and hard floor treatment, thorough dusting and cleaning of more than 30 working stations, a conference room cleaning, and toilets and restroom sanitation. In short, we would have our hands full.

We worked out a two-by-two monthly schedule of visits – alternating between “maintenance” and “deep-clean” visits. The former required about four hours, the latter – just over five. We also fixed quality check-ups after each “deep-clean” visit to ensure our client was getting their money’s worth.

The first two scheduled visits came and went without accident. It was one of the biggest jobs we had taken so far, but most of our technicians had already gained enough experience not to be intimidated by the scale. The first quality check-up was an unqualified success – the office manager was full of praise for our performance and admitted we had exceeded her expectations. It was a solid building block for a fruitful long-term partnership.

A quick aside -as an office cleaning crew leader, I don’t really care what our clients’ business field is. My job is to plan and execute the perfect cleaning performance – and it doesn’t matter if we do it for an IT start-up, a marketing agency, or a hedge fund. Their sanitary requirements would be similar – so I leave it to our customer support and marketing team to sort out these details.

In this particular case, I knew our client was a customer support subcontractor for a large gaming company, but I hadn’t asked for any further details. So when I walked by the empty front desk, I didn’t have the slightest inkling of what was about to happen. It was our third visit for the month, and by the rules of the schedule – a maintenance one. We started from the common salon area at 10 A.M. sharp and quickly set into our cleaning routine.

Unexpected office cleaning encounter in Paddington.

One of the great advantages of modern office space is that it looks the same, with minor differences, in every office or commercial building. So if you have cleaned five offices, there are no surprises in the sixth one. Our present case was no different – we were purposefully sweeping through the identical working stations when the front door of the salon opened, and a nerdy-looking man in his late twenties walked in.

He was clearly startled to see somebody at the office but, to his credit, immediately sorted out what was going on. “Gosh, Anne (the office maintenance manager) mentioned you guys come on Saturdays, but I completely forgot! Don’t mind me, I will try to stay out of your way!”

“Not at all!”, I interjected right away. “We are finishing here, so feel free to do whatever you need.”

“I am actually in the corner office. My name is Mick, and I try to run this zoo.”

I confess I was impressed. The guy had a nonchalant, easygoing manner that did not betray any managerial stiffness. I asked if he could give me ten minutes – I would personally clean and dust his office.

“Sure, go ahead. I will be in the staff room, just give me a shout when you are done. I need to check some emergency emails.”

At this moment, I still didn’t know what this guy or his company were doing. But when I finished his office and went to the staff room, I couldn’t help but notice what was on the desktop of his laptop. Mick was playing my favourite BBSG! BBSG stands for “browser-based strategy game” – a massively popular genre millions of people play worldwide. And no – I am not going to mention the name of the game. Let’s call it SG for short.

“Hey, you are playing SG!”, I exclaimed. “I am a huge fan! I’ve been playing it for over seven years!”

“Have you?” Mick said, but his reaction surprised me. He was not ashamed or annoyed that I’d caught him playing an online game at work. Instead, his interest was somehow professional. “What is your in-game nickname?” I told him without thinking. He started typing and, five seconds later, nodded approvingly. “Boy, you are a veteran! A top-200 account on one of the oldest servers, your numbers are really impressive.”

“Hey, how did you get that info so quickly?”, I asked suspiciously.

This time he was surprised. “I assumed you knew what we do here. We are the local customer support team for the UK-based servers of SG. We answer players’ questions and tickets and moderate the in-play communication.”

“No way! Man, I honestly didn’t know. But that is so cool! So do you guys have a direct line of communication with the game engineers and the people who decide on the game mechanics?”

“Sure do”, Mick said with a grin. “Let me guess – you have your thoughts on improving the game.”

I was stepping on thin ice. One of the first instructions you receive during your office cleaning training is never to engage a client or a member of their team in a professional, non-cleaning-related discussion. But the logic behind it is to avoid some cleaner going berserk on stockbrokers and telling them they were worthless leeches. My situation was evidently different.

“I do have some ideas, but I don’t want to overstep my bounds. My boss would frown upon me talking to you about your work.”

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous! We are desperately looking for players’ feedback, and to get it in a face-to-face meeting is a one-in-a-million opportunity.”

We spent the next forty minutes discussing the game. At first, Mick listened politely without interrupting me, unsure if I would say anything useful. But we were soon engaged in a lively discussion, arguing about different game features like long-lost brothers. If it wasn’t for one of my cleaners who came to check if everything was alright, we might have talked for another hour.

“That was awesome, man!” Mick grinned as he shook my hand. “Listen, we must stay in touch. You have some excellent ideas about SG, and I would like to discuss them further.” He gave me his business card, and we agreed to continue the conversation. “Oh, and I will give you a five-star review for the cleaning”, he said with an impish grin.

More than a year later, Mick and I still email each other frequently, and we are still the company’s office cleaning provider. Who said your work and hobby couldn’t coexist?…

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Expert Cleaning – A Smart Solution for Successful Business

How to enjoy a pretty and wholesome indoor environment at work?

We spend more than eight hours in the office or other type of working space. If you are a business owner or a facility manager, know very well that fresh air and clean surfaces can boost staff’s productivity. Cleanliness creates a public image of the company and predisposes employees to be more engaged with commercial tasks, concentrated and adequate in stress situations.

Professional cleaning services are a modern and effective way to manage your property and take care of the workers and officers. Experienced providers can improve the dwellings’ condition with state-of-the-art products, full equipment and knowledge without disrupting running your company.

Hiring a reliable firm has several advantages. Deep cleaning and regular office premises’ keeping by experts ensure perfect appearance and quick results. Specialised services can establish a fresh, decluttered and inspiring atmosphere. Each individual, team and organisation need of such creative and healthy professional environment.

Our Personal Responsibility At Work
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