As the owner of a cleaning company, you face the same challenges as any other small business owner. Planning your business, watching your profits and finding customers.

But you also have problems other businesses don’t.

Because your cleaning business is mostly mobile, you have the added challenge of monitoring your employees and making sure they stay productive – even while they’re out.

The challenges of managing mobile workers

Because you can’t monitor your employees the way an office manager would, you’re faced with a unique set of challenges. And overcoming them is key to growing your business, increasing productivity and reducing excess costs.


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In fact, three of the biggest challenges you face are:

Productivity: When your employees spend so much time away from the home office, it can be hard to track how much work they do. Without a set way to monitor and track employee hours, you could be wasting valuable time and money throughout the day.

Accountability. How do you know employees are where they are supposed to be? Or that they’re actually working? Unless you know where your employees are at all times, you’ll never be completely sure where that they’re doing the cleaning they’re supposed to be doing.

Trust. Communication and trust are very important in any small business, but even more so in a mobile business. Things like hours worked and over time can be easily fabricated, unless you have a proven system to help you track these things.

Tools to help you increase efficiency

While you can't be everywhere at all times, you can make use of time and labor tracking tools that can help you manage the productivity of your mobile employees.

Employee GPS tracking

Employee GPS tracking

A GPS tracking system is the next best thing to having eyes on your staff at all times. Actually, it’s even better.

A tracking system will allow you to keep tabs on your employees, while still giving them the freedom and responsibility to manage their own work. Other benefits of using an employee GPS system are:

  • Employees can track their time using any computer, mobile phone or landline

  • Smart IP address tracking, caller ID and GPS show you who’s checking in from where

  • Tracking both caller ID and GPS eliminates dishonesty and “buddy clocking”

  • Manage your employees’ time and see what inefficiencies are costing you time and money

  • Track employees without making them check in constantly, saving everyone time and hassle

Time and labor tracking

Time and labor tracking

Besides location, it’s important to track time. Knowing exactly how long jobs take can help you better plan routes and schedules, increasing productivity and profit. In fact, by using a cloud-based time tracking system, you can:

  • See who’s working on what, and for how long

  • Plan employee schedules to be as productive as possible

  • Manage workflows and increase efficiency without spreadsheets or paper methods

  • Never worry about losing information, since everything is stored in the cloud

  • Review and approve timesheets quickly from any device

  • Easily calculate and schedule employee time off and PTO

  • Be alerted any time an employee is getting close to overtime, so you can adjust schedules accordingly and save yourself money

Expedited payroll

Expedited payroll

A cloud-based system can also make handling payroll easier. With all the timesheets, overtime and time off stored in one secure location, generating payroll takes a couple of clicks. Benefits of advanced time tracking features and expedited payroll include:

  • Review and approve timesheets with a few clicks, saving you time

  • Manage time off, PTO accruals and overtime with ease

  • Quickly approve employee pay schedules

  • Give employees access to their own pay stubs at any time

More tips to help you manage mobile employees

With the right tools, you can easily track your employees, manage company time and quickly and efficiently handle your payroll.

However, as a manager you still want to communicate with your employees to create an atmosphere where things run well.

Here are some tips to help create a sense a teamwork, even with a team that’s always on the go.

Set expectations

To help establish trust with your employees, it's important to have clear expectations. From the start, communicate what you expect from them. Be open about time tracking and GPS systems, so employees don’t feel like they’re being spied on.

Reinforce the fact that these tools are not here to make their jobs harder, quite the opposite. These tools are in place to help you help your team get things done quicker and more efficiently.

Be engaged

A mobile company isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of business. Remember to communicate often. Consider holding in-person meetings every now and then, especially if your team never really meets as a whole. This helps keep lines of communication open and create a unified team.

Be understanding

It's important for you, as a business owner or manager, to understand what it's like out on the road completing these cleaning jobs. Learn how structured – or unstructured – the jobs are to better understand what your employees are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. With that said, keep the below point in mind.

Be flexible

Your employees are mobile, and subject to things beyond your control. Things like traffic or upset customers could really affect their productivity and time management.

For a cleaning company owner, managing your mobile employees is one of the hardest challenges you’ll face.

Unless you know where you're going, and how long jobs actually take, you’ll never know if time is being used to its fullest potential – or if money is being wasted. By using tools like GPS systems and time tracking, you can manage your employees (and by extension, your entire business!) more easily and quickly than you ever imagined.

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