Housekeeping department duties
A housekeeping department might not be as celebrated as income-generating positions such as sales, but housekeeping employees are essential to keeping businesses running smoothly. Some businesses, such as hotels and hospitals, might have large housekeeping departments. Smaller companies that own their own buildings and government organizations, including schools, are likely to have at least a few people on the housekeeping payroll. No matter what, the duties of a housekeeping department remain the same.
- Basic Duties
In general, housekeeping departments are in charge of keeping buildings clean. They sweep, mop, dust, vacuum and clean the bathrooms. Housekeeping staff also clean windows and public areas, and they often remove trash and deposit it in the building's dumpsters. Many refill toilet paper rolls and hand soap in the bathrooms, and keep an eye out for issues such as burned-out light bulbs that need replacing, sometimes changing the bulbs or telling maintenance about the issues.
In addition to basic duties, hotel housekeeping employees change sheets and make beds in the guest rooms. They keep the rooms stocked with clean cups, coffee supplies, towels and other bathroom items, such as shampoo. These staff members often must pass background checks because they have access to guests' private belongings, including cash and jewelry left in the rooms. In the laundry room, some housekeeping employees wash, dry and fold sheets and towels. Housekeeping staff often deliver additional items guests request, such as extra pillows or blankets.
Hospitals need housekeeping professionals who understand the importance of sanitizing a space rather than just cleaning it; these employees must understand proper sanitation practices to keep the spread of infection within the hospital to a minimum. They change sheets and clean up messes, often consisting of bodily fluids. Hospital housekeeping employees must be trained in maintaining confidentiality; they are often in hospital rooms when the patients are there, sometimes with doctors or family members discussing care options. They also might be required to wash and restock scrubs, sheets, blankets and towels throughout the hospital.
- Corporate or Government Buildings
In other corporate or government buildings, housekeeping departments often manage outdoor common areas such as courtyards or parking lots, sweeping up debris and emptying outdoor trash bins. These employees might clean areas specific to the building, such as kitchens used in break rooms or meeting rooms. The housekeeping staff members might be required to set up the meeting rooms in different configurations as requested, moving tables, chairs and electronic equipment. Many of these employees work after hours, cleaning when the other employees or students have gone home for the evening.