Janitorial staff are essential members of an office workforce. Ever present and often underappreciated, janitors make sure that buildings are safe, clean, and functional. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over two million janitors are working in the USA in 2021. In office buildings and schools, janitors are especially necessary. The cleaning industry is often the first port of call for people who have newly immigrated to the United States. There is a widespread misconception that janitorial work is unskilled. This is far from the case. Janitors actually need to have a wide range of skills to fulfill a large series of responsibilities. This article lists some of the main responsibilities that janitorial staff are typically tasked with.
Washing Windows And Mirrors
Good janitorial staff members are usually skilled at polishing glass surfaces without leaving marks. This is especially important in retail settings, where clean windows and mirrors can often have an effect on sales and customer relations. Specialized glass cleaning equipment is usually provided by the janitorial agency or building supervisor that is employing the worker.
Cleaning and Polishing Floors
Floors need to be hoovered and buffed on a daily basis. Most public buildings and offices receive a great deal of footfall – meaning that they become rather filthy very quickly. Floors are usually polished in the morning before most of the workforce has passed through the doors. Janitors are also required to clean flooring on a spill-by-spill basis: attending spillages throughout the day.
Safeguarding Building Security
Janitorial staff also frequently have a secondary security role. They are required to assess whether there have been any security breaches as they carry out their cleaning duties. Checking that security cameras are still in place, keys remain in secure custody, and all properties have been accounted for – a janitor is an essential cog in the security system of any large building.
Checking Fire Safety Equipment
Likewise, janitorial staff are expected to make sure that there are enough fire extinguishers, working alarms, and intact firehoses present in a building as they do their rounds. Many janitorial staff are given daily fire safety checklists to work through too.
Simple Maintenance Tasks
Many janitors are expected to know how to fix simple problems with plumbing, conduct woodwork repairs, and complete other simple maintenance tasks. Large organizations will have separate maintenance staff but will still rely on janitors to report broken or poorly maintained items.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a greater emphasis on sanitization has developed in offices and public places. Janitorial staff are the front-line fighters in the sanitization struggle. They use sanitizing chemicals and UV wands to make spaces safer. There is no practical way to sanitize a building completely, but janitors are usually tasked with doing the best they can.
Office spaces have increasingly turned to plant life in order to create a pleasant and relaxing environment for workers. It is often up to the janitorial staff to keep these plants alive.