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Should You Tip Your Hard-Working Office Cleaner?

Within some service sectors, you might have to spend a second thinking about paying more than you thought.

Paying tips to workers, like housekeepers, hotel staff, and food servers, seems like an unwritten rule we collectively abide by. 

But with professional cleaners, you might want to consider whether to tip them or not. Hiring someone to clean your workplace can allow you to focus on business productivity and succession.

But depending on the scale of cleaning, you might decide to tip. But how do you actually pay tips? And how exactly do you work out the rate?

Read our piece on paying tips to cleaning staff; especially when they perform beyond their job. 

Considerations For Tipping Office Cleaners

Like most service sector work, cleaning is considered laborious and straining. The hours are long, the pay is low, and tasks can cause lasting effects on one’s mental and physical health.

So, providing tips to cleaners might prove to be more than just an after-thought in some situations.

Using Private Vs. Agency Office Cleaners 

Whether you require a cleaning service for a sizable company, or for a smaller enterprise, think about whether to hire a private or agency cleaner.

Private cleaners are more likely to have their own rates. They rarely lose to field-based competitors, so they don’t expect extra tips.

Agency workers are almost always on some sort of payroll and generally don’t determine their wages. They might rely on additional tips to round up their salary to a decent living wage.

So, it really falls on your discretion whether to tip cleaners or not. 

Workplace Policies On Tipping

Tipping can be categorised under gifting. So, it might be wise to have rules set in your workplace policies in a handbook or contract of employment.

Your policy could include managing tips for just service providers. Like drivers, delivery people, and cleaners. This agreement should outline how to determine rates and if tips are included. 

Some cleaning companies might have a straight-out rule for not accepting tips. So, it might be good to learn their business guidelines; and rules on how you can respectfully tip them if you wanted. 

Judging The Work Quality

It’s a good idea to judge the quality of the service performed by its price. You could decide to only tip if you feel cleaners have gone beyond their average job specs. Maybe they outperformed themselves or took on a bigger task than normal and sometimes cleaning mistakes. Providing tips then becomes a practical initiative and appreciated reward.

Counter to this, there might be times when you might feel they haven’t done such a great job, comment frontline worker expert Blink. If the service is substandard, then you obviously won’t provide a tip. You might even have to raise the issue to their company, especially if you must ask for a follow-up cleaning service. 

Conditions Of The Workplace

Sometimes, the conditions of the job might determine whether you should provide a tip. 

Maybe the workplace is quite spacious and will need quite a large amount of time to clean. Or maybe the job involves a very ‘thorough’ cleaning job. 

After performing cleaning tasks beyond the norm, you could consider tipping. Especially if you’ve got an unusually dirty place in need of a deep-clean!

When Should You Tip? How Much?

Deciding on an appropriate amount and time to tip is up to you – it’s entirely on your discretion and situation.

It’s helpful to consider what type of services you’ve requested. Maybe if the cleaner is the same as before. Or if the level of service meets your standards.

Service Requests

  • You should consider the type of cleaning tasks you have requested. If it’s a one-off job where you might not need to hire a cleaner again, you might want to tip them. Like for cleaning after a moving job or for a seasonal deep clean, says rug cleaner, Thomas Mayers.
  • But if you require repeated services, you could choose to set a precedent from the beginning and not tip them at all, says professional cleaner, Sam Fitzpatrick.

Using The Same Cleaner Vs. Different Cleaners 

If you decide on a repeat cleaning service, depending on the standard of their performance, you could request the same cleaner for future jobs.

But you should ask cleaning companies if they allow this. As some might have fixed work cleaning agendas. 

But if you do hire the same cleaner on a regular basis, it might prove awkward to pay tips after every service. Instead, consider giving them a larger amount after one or two months, or even a bonus at the end of the year. 

How Much To Tip?

Here is the question we’re all waiting to be answered. How do you work out the amount for tipping?

It will probably depend on factors, like the state of the workplace, the type of cleaning tasks required, and additional services you might choose. 

An unspoken rule you could follow is tipping 15-20% of the rate you pay them. Especially if you received a good service. But the rule isn’t set in stone. And of course, you can adjust the rate if the service was particularly exceptional.

How To Issue Tips To Cleaners?

You might wonder, what is the most acceptable method for tipping? Cash in hand? Through some sort of bonus? Or some other alternative payment arrangement?

The most common form used is probably with cash, especially for one-off payments. It’s almost always hassle-free and makes for an easier transaction.

But you might feel uncomfortable handing cash to regular cleaners. Sometimes when you’ve built a good working relationship with cleaners, a nice personal gift could be a better approach. 

Maybe a nice bottle of wine, gift cards, or even a present for their family will be appreciated more. Little gestures like this will make them feel valued and respected as an employee.

So, Should You Tip Your Cleaner Or Not?

When it comes to tipping, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or obliged to give them out. It’s not a legal obligation, nor is it largely customary in the UK. But it’s a good business practice to praise exceptional work. 

So, if a cleaner had a particularly huge task assigned to them, whether it’s their job or not, you might want to consider tipping as a token of appreciation.

The 15-20% range is an acceptable base amount to use when working out tips. Stick to this when considering paying tips. You can be guaranteed a more loyal workforce and incomparable service.