Should I Hire a Porter During COVID-19?

Two Key Incentives and Considerations for the Small Business Owner

The importance of a clean working environment has taken a whole new significance since the emergence of the highly contagious virus, COVID-19. As businesses struggle to open and stay open, many of them are revamping their in-house cleaning protocols with a day porter.

Now is the time to rethink your cleaning regime. Is your current cleaning program sufficient to protect your clients and employees against the threat of viral transmission? Outsourcing your cleaning duties to someone who can be exclusively devoted to them might just be your hall pass to a new and improved business model. Yet, there are key incentives, as well as issues to consider before deciding if a porter is a beneficial addition to your business.

Read on to learn exactly how a day porter can prove advantageous to the average small business owner and what a business owner should consider before jumping on the bandwagon.

What Is a Porter?

First things first. What is a porter, and how do porter services differ from custodial services? A porter is akin to an in-house janitor. A porter is typically hired by a cleaning company and acts as one of your personal employees, seeing to your office’s daily cleaning and maintenance needs. The benefit to porter services is that they’re always there from 9-5 or throughout your business’ unique hours of operations. Whereas a janitorial crew might visit your property once a night after-hours to do a sweep-through of the premises, a porter is on location ready to assist as-needed for unexpected spills, mid-day paper towel restocks, and more. A porter doesn’t merely make sure your office space is clean and presentable—a porter makes sure your office space is continually clean and presentable.

Incentive #1: The Adaptability of a Day Porter

The day-to-day of a small business owner is never the same. Some days are busy, and the stream of clients passing in and out of your doors is unending. Other days are quiet and more in-house strategy-focused than client-focused. The responsibilities of a day porter can flex and adapt to suit your changing priorities. On those hectic days where your front door is a revolving door, you can request that your porter focuses on maintaining the lobby area’s appearance and disinfecting high-contact surfaces as customers come and go. If a client accidentally drops their coffee on the way out, you don’t have to pull a staff member from the floor to attend to the mess—your day porter can leave what they’re doing to address more pressing matters at any moment.

A cleaning contract simply cannot offer the on-hand convenience and adaptability of a porter. A custodial team arrives at a certain hour, performs a set list of tasks, and then departs at a certain hour. If a dangerous spill were to happen after your custodial team left for the day, there’s no calling them back to the scene.

Consideration #1: The Limits of a Day Porter

On the other hand, day porter’s adaptability can be a strength and a limitation. Since a day porter is typically a jack-of-all-trades that performs many general upkeep tasks throughout the day, they are not a sufficient substitute for deep cleaning. Janitorial teams can clean and disinfect your property from front to back when customers and employees aren’t around. A day porter is a single person who doesn’t have the capacity to tackle such an enormous task, especially not with patrons and staff milling about.

If you’re considering adding a day porter to your business model, make sure you have an alternate plan in place to take care of more in-depth cleaning responsibilities. However, if hiring two cleaning third-parties seems like too much of an expense to you, consider this: with a day porter on-site, you may be able to reduce your janitorial crew’s contract, and negotiate a different arrangement with fewer tasks, for a smaller fee.

Incentive #2: The Familiarity of a Day Porter

A great advantage of hiring a day porter is that they can become intimately familiar with your business and its unique needs. A good porter will come to know your building’s maintenance requirements like clockwork. For example, they’ll learn the pattern of peak and low-volume hours and adjust their duties accordingly. They’ll get to know which areas of the building are frequented most and thus be able to sanitize those spots with extra diligence. A porter knows which light bulbs need to be replaced and which hallways were vacuumed last. Even more than the building, porters will get to know your staff and what they need to succeed. For instance, a porter might get to know the early birds at the office and refresh the kitchen area early, just for them. They can serve your employees’ individual needs to create a more enjoyable and pleasant working environment.

Consideration #2: The Danger of Too Much Familiarity with a Day Porter

While the familiarity of a day porter may seem all upside, it’s important to consider the potential downside, too. A porter working side by side with your staff every day can become a less than ideal situation if your staff overwhelms your porter with specific requests, taking their attention away from other more general duties. When hiring a porter, you should communicate clearly to your porters which tasks take priority. You should equally communicate to your staff the types of requests that are acceptable and unacceptable or necessary and unnecessary.

Find Out More About Day Porters

There you have it. When implemented correctly in conjunction with more in-depth janitorial services, a day porter can alleviate your cleaning responsibility like few other services can. During a global pandemic, a day porter may be your key to success in a COVID-19-changed business world.

Want to learn more about day porter services? Prestige Janitorial Services is a full-service cleaning company with an entire department dedicated to the field. Drop us a line to consult with a professional and discuss the ins and outs of hiring a day porter for your business.