The cleaning sector in the UK has seen considerable growth in recent years and continues to grow. Companies and individuals alike have become far more aware of the threat of infection caused by bacteria and germ transference, particularly in the workplace. A greater emphasis has been put on the need for cleaning and sanitising, and more so in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
More business sectors than ever before require cleaners, so the demand for Commercial Cleaning Services is continually increasing. Hospitals, surgeries, hotels, warehousing, pubs and restaurants, sports centres, factories, and offices, to name a few, all hire the services of cleaning contractors. Even small offices that would normally keep their cleaning in house now realise the importance of hiring a professional; contract cleaners have expertise, as well as access to industrial grade cleaning machinery and products that domestic or individual cleaners do not.
So, what is the average cost for office cleaning in the UK? Perhaps not as expensive as you might expect. Your geographical location will obviously play a part, as will the type of company you engage and the services you require. As you read through, we will explore the different services under the commercial cleaning umbrella and the costs associated.
What is Commercial Cleaning?
Commercial cleaning is the term used for non-domestic cleaning which is carried out at a business’ premises. Companies that need cleaning services will hire a Commercial Cleaning Contractor. There is a huge difference between domestic cleaning and commercial cleaning. As stated earlier, contract cleaners have specific expertise and can undertake many cleaning tasks using the correct machinery and products, some of which are chemical and may require a knowledge of COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). Unlike domestic cleaning, commercial cleaners may need to use different products and equipment for different parts of a building.
Commercial Cleaning can also cover a broad range of services, such as:
- General office and business cleaning
- Floor, carpet, upholstery, and soft furnishing cleaning
- Window cleaning
- Kitchen, canteen, food prep area cleaning
- Toilet, changing room and bathroom cleaning
- Rubbish and waste removal
- Janitorial and consumables services
More specific office cleaning services include:
- Daily or weekly general office cleaning
- Regular window cleaning
- Frequent IT equipment cleaning (phones, keyboards etc)
- Frequent touch point cleaning (door handles, light switches etc)
- Periodic Carpet cleaning and/or hard floor maintenance
- Frequent kitchen and bathroom cleaning
- Janitorial and consumables service
Hiring a commercial cleaning contractor gives your business peace of mind, as they will have liability insurance which means that you, your company, they, and their company are covered for any eventuality. They may also have health and safety accreditations, which means that they have extra knowledge about how to ensure safety in the workplace and are aware of hazards and dangers that could cause issues.
When thinking of hiring any kind of external service, it’s important to do some research on possible candidates and try and obtain several quotes. Be aware that a low quote might not give you the high level of cleaning that you desire.
What Can You Expect from a Commercial Cleaning Service?
When arranging quotes for your cleaning requirements, you need to decide exactly what you need; how often will you require services, and exactly which services you want. Some cleaning companies operate on a minimum number of hours per week, so be realistic about your requirements as you don’t want to be in a position where you are forced to overpay. Likewise, undercalculating the number of hours you need could see you with only half of your premises cleaned! Prospective cleaning companies will advise you of the number of hours needed when they survey your site during the quotation process.
In order to keep your business clean and tidy, weekly general cleaning services are a minimum. Kitchen, toilet, canteen, and other food prep areas should be cleaned daily.
Consider how often you would like carpets cleaned, and any hard floors which require specialist attention and maintenance. Window cleaning can be periodic, although many people choose to clean the outside of the windows at more regular intervals than the insides.
When your shortlist of contractors come to quote for you, talk through your requirements and discuss each aspect. For example, there may be certain areas within your premises that are used infrequently, and so require less cleaning. There may also be areas that are high traffic and prone to dirt build up which your contractor will need to be made aware of. You might also want certain areas sterilised rather than just a basic clean. Talk to them about workplace hygiene, which will also keep your staff safe as this applies to all types of workplaces, not just those involved in handling food and personal products.
Here is what should be done between an employer and cleaning contractor to ensure that workplace hygiene is maintained:
- Implement a hygiene policy
Issue staff with a written hygiene policy setting out your intentions and expectations of a clean workplace. This ensures your staff know that you take workplace hygiene seriously.
- Provide a clean toilets and washrooms
It is crucial for a hygienic workplace to have clean toilet and handwashing facilities. Make sure that the bathroom is well stocked with soap, toilet paper and hand towels and sanitiser as necessary.
- Provide clean wipes, sanitiser and tissues
Provide items such as these to help your staff maintain a clean and hygienic workspace. Shared equipment can harbour germs and bacteria, and employees are more likely to use such items to clean up after themselves if they are readily available.
- Regular cleaning
Make sure your workplace is regularly cleaned. This helps prevent the spread of infection, and clean surroundings also help to maintain morale and project a sense of professionalism.
Some cleaning contractors will provide you with a list of services which they undertake, along with prices for those services, but a more common practice is for them to give you a price per hour, day, week, or month. This price should include any tasks within the cleaning remit, but may exclude machine hire for specialist jobs, and cleaning products for those jobs. Some contracts can include cleaning materials, but some exclude them in which case you would be responsible for sourcing and maintaining the supply of products. A busy business owner may not have time for this, and so more companies prefer to leave the supply of cleaning and janitorial products to their contractor.
You may be asked by your prospective contractor to commit to a minimum term when you take them on. Contracts like these are usually for between 6 and 12 months and will require both sides to give at least a month’s notice to quit. This is standard practice and protects both client and contractor alike.
After you have asked any questions and had any queries answered, there will be a contract created between both parties, which may require a deposit to be paid. You will then receive a start date and services will commence.
Typical Office Cleaning Costs
Office cleaning costs can vary; there is no exact science. Depending on the cleaning contractor you choose, and the geographical location of your business, the rates that you could pay can be very different.
Commercial and office cleaning rates per hour based on location
|North of England and Scotland||£12 – £15 per hour|
|London||£15 – £25 per hour|
|South and East of England||£15 – £20 per hour|
|Wales||£12 – £20 per hour|
Evening and weekend cleaning can be more expensive due to the unsociable hours needed, but this is down to the discretion of the contractor.
Some cleaning contractors find it easier to charge by size (square footage or meterage), rather than by man hours. This is generally for larger premises but can be scaled down to suit your building and budget. Obviously, the cost will rise depending on the size of your building because of the duration of time taken to clean it as well as factoring in materials and cleaning supplies, and the number of cleaning crew members. Below are the typical rates you can expect to pay each month based on the size of your workplace. These rates are an average and can vary depending on your geographical location.
Commercial and office cleaning rates per square foot, per month
|Total Square Footage||Average Cost|
|500 – 3,000||£195 – £500|
|3,000 – 6,000||£500 – £800|
|6,000 – 10,000||£800 – £1300|
How long does it take to clean an office?
The amount of time taken for Office cleaning will always depend on its size and the volume of people occupying it. If the workforce is small each task might not need to be done every day. But if footfall is high then the likelihood is that most areas will need regular cleaning. Take into account the number of toilets and hand basins in the bathroom, whether your work premises has food preparation areas etc. As a rule of thumb though, the table below averages out the man hours needed for general office cleaning.
Commercial and office cleaning hours per square foot, per week
|Total Square Footage||Number of Man Hours||Frequency of Cleaning|
|2,000 – 4,000||2||3-5|
|5,000 – 7,000||3||5|
Factors Which may Affect the Cost of your Commercial Cleaning
There are of course other factors to consider which will affect the overall price that you pay for your commercial cleaning service.
The amount of labour will differ depending on the intensity of the cleaning required. Routine cleaning can be assessed easily, but deeper cleans are far more time consuming and need further consideration when you ask for quotes.
Cleaning materials and equipment
As we continue living in the wake of the pandemic, more stringent practices regarding the use of cleaning materials need to be observed. It is no longer acceptable to use a single cleaning cloth for each room or a single mop for each hard floor. More potent cleaning products might be needed to cope with levels of infection and virus.
If your premises is in a high density town area, or a remote rural area, costs could be higher due to the fact that cleaning staff could find it difficult to reach your business in a given amount of time. There may be a premium to account for travel time and cost.
Specialised Cleaning Services
There may be areas in your workplace that require more specialised cleaning, such as carpets, upholstery, and soft furnishings. This will always be more expensive than general cleaning because of the machinery and products needed.
Ensure You Get the Right Professional Fit
It’s a good idea to put together a kind of checklist to ensure you get a contractor that you not only feel comfortable with, but one that is trustworthy and the right fit for your company.
Make sure you ask for
- A written quote. This will include exactly which cleaning jobs you are paying for, the cost of materials if relevant and the number of operatives and hours they’ll supply.
- It’s always best to check references from previous or current clients to make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable contractor.
- Always ask to see proof of liability insurance so that you (and they) are covered in the event of accident or incident.
Unfortunately, not all cleaning companies are as reliable and trustworthy as they first seem. Sometimes you could end up with a careless cleaner and an unprofessional clean. Where a CQC standard is also required, this could leave your premises at risk of immediate closure. At Brightr we are proud to be Northampton’s best reviewed, most trusted cleaning company. We also offer professional, high quality office cleaning in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.
Our cleaners must provide us with two references, undergo a rigorous training program, and agree to close supervision of their cleaning. With this process, we can guarantee cleaning services of the highest possible standard. Each of our team are uniformed and badged so that you are able to easily identify when they are visiting.
Our cleaners are conscientious, well-mannered and can work around the public without creating a disturbance, allowing them to clean your site during the day which eliminates the need to entrust us with keys to your premise. If you prefer your premises to be cleaned in the evening our team can provide cleaning services at a time to suit you.
If you are looking for a trusted cleaning company who offer a consistently high quality service, contact us for a free no obligation quotation.