Outsource Vs. Insource: Which Janitorial Service Option Will Give Your Company The Brightest Shine?

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As a business owner or manager, you have a lot to take care of to ensure your company runs smoothly. One important aspect of operations is how and by whom your cleaning will take place—in particular, outsourcing vs insourcing. While both have advantages, neither is usually the obvious choice, and choosing can be confusing. Still, it's a decision you have to make, adding to your probably long list of things to do today.

How Outsourcing May Benefit Your Company

Outsourcing, or hiring an outside company on a contractual basis, is a popular choice, especially among larger corporations. Just as you might hire an outside agency to handle your tech support or manage the phone lines, the advantages for your company abound:

  • Your company doesn't have to pay for the cleaning equipment and supplies it takes to spiff up the place and curb the spread of germs that can make your employees sick.
  • You also won't be footing the bill for employee taxes, workers comp, and health insurance for the janitorial crew.
  • Another expense a hired commercial janitorial services company saves you from is training and supervising, something that's also time-intensive.
  • It's easier to make contract adjustments, rather than lay off your own employees, if times get tight.
  • You're not burdened by the hiring and firing process.

The Advantages Of Insourcing

Not to be outshone by its counterpart, insourcing can be very beneficial to a company, too. Depending on your managerial style, the magnitude of work involved, and other factors, insourcing janitorial work may be a very practical cleaning solution:

  1. An in-house cleaning team could provide more flexibility if you run special projects, weekend events, or 24-hour shifts, since you can schedule them yourself in incremental shifts or otherwise.
  2. Insourcing fosters a team environment, where all your employees interact and get to know one another, more so than with contractors.
  3. Training for specific areas or on specialized equipment may be more customizable with your own cleaning staff.
  4. If your business involves trade secrets and other confidential matters, you might want a permanent janitorial crew, carefully screened by your own company. Although an outsourced service will screen their employees, you might need an added layer of security.

Choosing The Best Option For Your Business

If you're really not sure whether you should hire a professional commercial janitorial service or work the problem out with your own or hired staff, consider outsourcing on a trial basis, as there's likely no commitment or long-term contract, nor a major upfront investment. While some may argue the cost is lower with outsourcing, others may disagree, and that's because there are a large number of variables influencing the equation. For example, if your offices are small and relatively easy to keep clean, assigning the task to existing employees on a rotating basis could be more economical; however, insourcing vs. outsourcing in terms of cost is best decided by the business owner or manager themselves.

Ultimately, if you opt for outsourcing, you should generate a list of candidate companies and interview them on an individual basis, seeking out the services and qualities that matter most to you. If you're only thinking of using an in-house janitorial team, it's more difficult to give that option a "test run", as you may have to screen, hire, and train one or more individuals, disclosing the fact that the position(s) could be temporary, then having to let them go if it doesn't work out, but if you're able to experiment with the process before deciding, it should be easier to determine your best course of action for the company.

This is an important decision for your company for a number of reasons and is not something you want to have to fuss about, once you've made your choice and the cleaning crew is in place. Conduct your own research on the pros and cons, with an emphasis on cost and flexibility. As you well know, circumstances can change for a business very quickly, and it's always wise to keep as many options open as possible. 

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