Team and Zone Cleaning

A reader writes: “You stated that I was not using team cleaning correctly. Could you elaborate?”

In my Team Cleaning manual, I differentiate between the four types of cleaning processes prevalent today. They are: 1) Zone, 2) Gang 3) Team and 4) Blended cleaning.

Zone cleaning is when one individual performs all the tasks themselves (trash, dust, vacuuming, mopping, rest rooms, etc.) in a given area. Gang cleaning is when a group of people wander into an area, clean it and go to the next area. Team cleaning in its purest form is when a group of four individuals perform assigned tasks, utilizing specified equipment in a given order. Blended cleaning is when Team and Zone are mixed in response to requirements from the customer or for other reasons.

My observation of your crew was that they were not utilizing Team Cleaning as I understand it. A group of four wandered into a space arguing as to who would pick up trash or vacuum or clean restrooms, etc. The Lead Worker actually performed most of the work, rather than argue with those on their cell phones and wandering around. That is Gang Cleaning if I ever saw it.

Some will argue that Zone Cleaning can utilize all the aspects of Team Cleaning steps and equipment thereby being a team of one. I agree with that concept since Team Cleaning is not only how many people are performing the work but also the procedures, tools and equipment are those recommended. Blended cleaning is usually when a major tenant requires one person service their area resulting in Zone Cleaning whereas up to 90% of the rest of the building is cleaned with the Team Cleaning process which includes the four positions.

Although some purists will disagree with this arrangement, the sole Zone Cleaner can utilize the same steps, tools and equipment as Team Cleaning in most cases. Will they be as productive (Square Feet per Hour) as the rest of the Team Cleaning crew? The answer is usually no but their goal is different and can have a minimal impact on the rest of the account.