Housekeeping: The hardest yet lowest paid job in hospitality

ditulis oleh : Jomblo Terhormat 08 November 2013
„This article is from the IWIH Archive. Original publish date: November 28, 2011"

When a guest enters a hotel lobby and finds it clean, a housekeeper is responsible for that. When a guest enters a hotel room and finds the bed made, the bathroom clean and fresh linens available to use, a housekeeper is responsible for that. Behind every clean bathroom and every vacuumed floor in a hotel there can be found a housekeeper that has done their job. Without clean rooms hotels would not be able to rent out rooms and without housekeeper the rooms would not get cleaned. This position is an extremely important part of the hospitality industry but does the pay reflect the importance and hard work of housekeeping? 

Hotel Housekeepers have a variety of duties that are expected of them to complete on a daily basis. While each hotel has different amounts of work expected from housekeepers some of the basic work stay the same throughout the hospitality industry. A housekeeper takes a room left at various degrees of dirtiness from previous room occupants and transforms it into a clean, attractive haven for the next occupants. The expectation for this transformation to occur is under 20 minutes with some hotels even expecting as low as an 11 minute time frame for housekeepers to finish rooms. With the expectation of approximately 4 rooms an hour housekeepers can be expected to clean as many as 28-32 rooms in a day. Even if a guest left the room veritable untouched a housekeeper must still clean all areas of the hotel room. This includes but is not limited to making beds, cleaning bathrooms and stocking amenities. This short list of what a housekeeper does when cleaning a hotel room does not come close to describing the actual work that a housekeeper must do in just one hotel room.

Housekeeping is a very physical job where a housekeeper is expected to bend, lift, pull, push and stand for long periods of time. Just the housekeeping cart alone can weigh up to 157 lbs and this is not including the many pounds of linens (clean and dirty), amenities and cleaning supplies that carts are loaded with. Housekeepers are expected to push these carts to every room they clean with some hotels having rooms that are separated from the main lobby. Also, since some hotels have outdoor entrances their housekeepers are expected to push carts in all sort of weather. Once getting to the dirty room a housekeeper is required to remove all dirty linens and garbage from the room and then proceed to clean it. From the shower head to the tile floors bathrooms must be cleaned and disinfected. All traces of the previous guest must be removed especially the hair. Chrome is to be shined so no water spots show, clean linens are to be placed in proper order as well as any bathroom amenities the hotel offers, shampoo, soap, etc. Beds are to be made to specific hotel standards while the housekeeper checks the blankets and pillows for stains, tear and any leftover hairs. The room is to be dusted from the top of the highest piece of furniture or picture frame to the bottom of every chair with a disinfecting spray. The room then must be vacuumed from one end to the other leaving nothing behind. The last touch is a spray of air freshener to make the room pleasant smelling for the next guest. Not too difficult, one might think but the job must be done in less than 20 minutes and to multiple rooms in a day. This does not include the unloading or the dirty linens to laundry and emptying the cart trash containers as well as restocking the cart that a housekeeper must do.

With all this work that a housekeeper is expected to do as well as the importance of the housekeeping staff a person would think that the pay of a housekeeper would compare quite reasonably to other position held at the hotel. Sadly this assumption is not true. Annual wages for a housekeeper are often lower than any other position in the hotel with wages in the US being up to $1000 less than front desk clerk wages. With the differences in work loads between a desk clerk and a housekeeper the wage difference is disappointing.

So even though the work of a housekeeper is important, undeniably difficult and the wages are low the probability of this scenario changing is unlikely. Luckily for some housekeepers they work for companies that truly appreciate what they do and though it is not shown on a paycheck the companies do show their appreciation to these employees in other ways. From free meals, holiday parties and even whole weeks dedicated to celebrating the housekeeping staff some hospitality companies are making their housekeeping team feel appreciated.

0 komentar: