Like any other service provider, janitorial companies aren’t perfect. Once in a while, every cleaning service is going to forget to empty a trash can or overlook an empty toilet paper roll.

While we can probably agree that an occasional oversight is not a catastrophe, there’s a certain tipping point when mistakes move from simply noticeable to outright annoying or just unsanitary.

If several of these sound familiar, it might be time to reassess the partnership with your office cleaning service. Some of the problems are pretty obvious, while others might take a little digging and detective work to uncover or confirm.

1. Your employees are always sick

Yes, offices can be a breeding ground for germs. People come to work trying to be heroes when they’re fighting a cold or the flu — then spread their miserable sickness around to the rest of us.

But if the same sickness keeps getting passed around or you’re dealing with an unusual spike in illness, take a closer look at your cleaning service. Proper office cleaning — just like at home — involves a lot more than just making things look clean and shiny. It requires sanitizing all high-touch surfaces with germ-killing chemicals.

2. You’re managing the process

Managing the work, schedule and cleaning staff is the janitorial service’s job, not yours. When you have a professional company in place, you should rarely have to think about the process or waste time on it. Otherwise, you could just hire your own cleaning staff.

Do you find yourself constantly calling the company to report mistakes or track down cleaning reports and audits? Does the company frequently have to reschedule due to staffing problems? Is the quality of work unreliable enough that you have to double check it?

If the service is creating extra work for you, rather than taking responsibilities off your plate, consider a switch.

3. Rags are being repurposed

Any reputable cleaning company should have what’s known as a four-rag system. Different color rags should be used to clean different areas/zones to avoid cross-contamination. We use red rags for toilets, yellow for everything else in the bathroom, blue for glass, and green for all other office surfaces such as desks and door handles.

Take a peek inside the janitorial or cleaning supply closet. If you see a bunch of rags that are all the same color, chances are the same rag that cleans your toilet is also wiping off your desk.

Considering a switch to a more professional cleaning service? We’re happy to talk to you about what to expect, whether you end up choosing us or not.

4. No checklist

Cleaning a large office or building is a lot more complex than trying to tidy up and sanitize your home. It requires planning and organization, not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach.

Companies that haven’t provided you with a list of all the specific cleaning tasks and activities that will be done on each visit are likely cutting corners, cleaning the bare minimum required so you won’t complain but skipping deep cleaning and sanitation. Or, they’re simply not cleaning consistently because there are no standards.

5. No auditing or inspection process

You shouldn’t have to tell cleaning company management what’s wrong with their service. The best companies have an auditing process to inspect and correct their own mistakes.

This includes semi-regular supervisor walk-throughs to verify that employees are completing their checklist of daily tasks and not skipping important steps. Without this process in place, it’s very likely that shortcuts are happening on a regular basis.