As the property”. This department is an essential

As regular
guests of hotels and restaurants, people may think of housekeeping as something
that is not more than just a question of cleanliness and sanitary, rather than
a department that affects the whole business. However, with a close
consideration it appears to be completely different, and the housekeeping is a 24/7
operation, that is closely linked with other departments, and, this way, plays
a huge role in business establishment and work organization.

 

Housekeeping
can be described as Lacey (2017) offers: “housekeeping performs detailed work
in guest rooms and hotel areas to provide a clean, comfortable environment for
hotel guests to enjoy. Through cleaning and organizing public spaces,
housekeeping departments ensure that what the guests see and experience result
in a positive impression of the property”. This department is an essential part
of each hotel. According to Casado (2012) “a characteristic common to all
lodging establishments, regardless of size and category, is the need for
housekeeping services, which can range from a very sophisticated to a simple
matter of ‘refreshing’ rooms once a week”. Indeed, the aim of housekeeping
department is to keep the property clean and well maintained, but the emphasis always
stays on room cleaning, because no matter how good the service was, the dirty
room will make the guest to regret about the choice of the hotel.

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The area
that housekeeping as a cleaning service covers is quite wide: there are
guestrooms, corridors, lobbies and public restrooms, meeting rooms,
restaurants, banquet halls, convention halls, hotel-operated shops, game, gym
room, building exterior, landscaping and gardens. And there is back of the
house areas, which consist of management offices, storage areas, linen rooms,
laundry room, employee locker rooms, administrative offices, cloak rooms and
maid’s service rooms (Areas under the Purview of Housekeeping, 2017).

 

Daily
cleaning of the rooms is made in order to refresh rooms that are currently
occupied, and prepare the vacant ones upon the arrival of new guests. There are
different official procedures for different stages of cleaning and cases, that
should be strictly followed, such as sanitizing bathroom with certain chemicals
and using prescribed amount of time.

 

Housekeeping
procedures have a strong basis for their exitance. Obviously, it helps to
determine the time, equipment and chemicals used, and also the staff used in
executing procedure. However, it is not the only reason. Housekeepers are
exposed to a variety of hazards while on the job and perform a variety of tasks
throughout their work shift (Shirke 2016). That is why established procedures
include the safety regulations as well. It helps to preserve employees from
injuring themselves and the guests. Additionally, some trainings should be done
regularly. Providing regular, specific housekeeping training for hotel staff,
will catch problems early, keep teamwork strong and stay on top of developments
in the industry (Polo & Tweed 2017).

 

The most
important thing about housekeeping management is an estimating a proper and
efficient working process, and that also involves communication with other
departments. Housekeeping itself interacts with all the departments of the
hotel in different ways. However, Kappa (1997) states that “Within the rooms
division, housekeeping’s primary communications are with the front office
department, specifically with the front desk area. At most properties, the
front desk agent is not allowed to assign guestrooms until the rooms have been
cleaned, inspected, and released by the housekeeping department”. Although
housekeeping cannot be considered as a revenue-making department, its work can
affect the sales as well as the revenues of the hotel.

 

The
financial role of housekeeping can be divided into two main features.

 

First is
the establishment of prices. The costs of the Rooms Division consist of the
expenses incurred by the housekeeping and front office departments (Casado 2012).
In a hotel, as a part of the Rooms Division, housekeeping’s expenses are payed
from the rooms sales mostly. This means that in every price you pay in a hotel,
there is a certain percent of money that goes to the housekeeping operating
budget.

 

Second aspect
stems out from the first one. Optimization of the working process and
housekeeping procedures, as well as following them by the employees, will make
an impact on the expenses accrued. As a way of controlling it, an executive
housekeeper should compare the expenses with amounts allocated in the operating
budget, tracking the efficiency of housekeeping operations and monitor
department’s ability to keep its expenses within the prescribed limits (Kappa
1997).

 

Altogether,
housekeeping plays an important role in the finance, affecting budgets and
prices establishment.

 

At the same
time, housekeeping department does not only stay concerned on cleaning, it also
takes care of some other areas that need to be covered.

 

For
example, handling VIP guests is also partly a responsibility of housekeeping
department, because housekeepers are those who prepare the room for the guest
and additionally decorate and improve the room with extra amenities such as
fresh flowers, fruit, complimentary bottle of wine and so on (Hotel
Housekeeping Principles 2017).

 

Another key
point in housekeeping is the control and supervision, and this actually refers
to all the aspects listed above. (Fellows 1991) considers duties of
housekeeping manager as: utilizing manpower effectively, providing the
department works correctly and on time; develop and instigate control
procedures; plan and forecast department’s needs; develop a good working
relationship with all other departments; implement legal obligations of the
department; and create and organize training programs. However, a housekeeping
manager needs to rely on a supervisory staff to control and maintain
satisfactory standards of work.

 

Housekeeping
department also have to face and deal with complaints of any type: lack of any
objects, broken or non-working items in the room, or, in some cases, the
general inappropriate state of the room. All those problems should be
transmitted to housekeeping manager or executive supervisor, if necessary, and
then solved quickly (The Role of a Manager in Housekeeping in the Hotel
Industry, 2017).

For the
purpose of summarizing, housekeeping does play a huge role in a hotel
establishment. It collaborates with many departments, and, even though does not
make revenue directly, is closely related to costing and profit-making. It is
very important for housekeeping department to be managed properly. Considering
all the demands and challenges that may occur. All in all, housekeeping is that
makes a hotel something that people call home away from home.