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Hey there community - I am looking for some feedback and input with regard to the cost of travel and hoping you can shed some light. My house cleaning crews come to the office and return to the office everyday. We've done some pretty deep analysis here and the travel time is killing us. Lots of wasted time driving to and from the office. Does anyone have experience with having employees drive directly to jobs rather than coming to an office first? Do a lot of cleaning companies allow their crews to take cars home in order to save on that travel cost? I am in California and the labor laws are tough. I have to pay for all time between work locations, and since our office is a work location, having them drive to and from the office here is killing us. It seems like giving them a cheap car to drive home would be a lot cheaper!

Thank you in advance - any and all insights are very welcome.
 

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The math to solve this should be pretty simple if you have collected a small amount of data. However, I cannot imagine you are going to save money by providing cars unless your business location is a long way from your service territory and your crews live in your service territory. In general there is no reason to think you people on average live closer to a client than your office location is to a client. If that is true then house cleaning salaries with the cost of a car added has got to be extremely more expensive than cleaning without it.

Julia
All City Cleaning Services
 

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I am not clear on why you have the employees come back and forth to the office at all. Why do they need to do this, if they are honest, and hard working people. Maybe I dont understand. California is a bit different from most other states.

It reminds me of a plciy I ran into here in Florida, when I worked for a hospice doing admission. (I am also an RN.) After putting in hours driving to and from appointments at hospitals, nursing homes, homes, etc., I was still required to go to the office first - and last. This seemed crazy to me! The sorts of charting we did did not require being in the office, nor did anything else except perhaps to pick up supplies. But this was their "rule" so we all went along with it.
 

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Good advice. I would only add that you should make it a policy that NO employee be on their daggone cell phones once they arrive at work! I find this quite disturbing, seeing workers who are chatting away on the phones while supposedly doing their jobs. My local post office has employees who are always, always, on their phones. And guess what? The mail gets delivered wrong, almost every single day. Being on a cell phone does NOT denote being serious about your work!
 

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Good advice. I would only add that you should make it a policy that NO employee be on their daggone cell phones once they arrive at work! I find this quite disturbing, seeing workers who are chatting away on the phones while supposedly doing their jobs. My local post office has employees who are always, always, on their phones. And guess what? The mail gets delivered wrong
 

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Not the way I'm reading CA law - Travel to a central location or headquarters to pick up work supplies is considered commute time. However, if you required all employees to park in a location and then shuttled them to where company cars were located/ headquarters located that time would need to be compensated The travel time back from the account to headquarters WOULD need to be compensated. You can also compensate travel time at a different rate as long as minimum wage is met and employees are aware of the different pay rate.
Obviously, scheduling efficient routes becomes important. I completely understand why employees need to report back to the office - they are carrying company equipment, company monies and clients keys - these items just can't be scattered all over town overnight. Unfortunately, it's the cost of doing business and the fees you charge have to reflect this: One of the reasons why employee based cleaning companies typically charge much more for service than owner/ operator businesses.
 

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I dont have employees - IO work alone and prefer it that way. So, I dont have experience handling cleaning employees. As an RN, I did deal with lots of employees or various skill ranges. Cleanexp, you mentioned employees carrying company money around. In a residential cleaning company, dont customers pay ahead? Or make a deposit? Why would your employees be handling money at all. I must be missing something here.

I am sure it can be hard sometimes to hire people who are very honest and professional in behavior. In my area of Florida, I often see ads for cleaning employees and the pay rate is awful! $8-12 is about it. At that low a pay rate, it must indeed be difficult to find employees who meet our standards. Because I work alone, I charge pretty much the average hourly rate: $20/hour. And to be competitive, that is not written in stone. I have given certain customers a small break in the price, simply because I didnt want to lose them.
 

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It's not unusual for established on going residential accounts to pay by check at the time of service. Employees are responsible for collecting payments and delivering them back to office. Sure, you can set your business up to accept credit cards and submit payments on day of service- it's up to the business to decide what flexibility they want to offer clients in terms of payment. Pay in advance- could be nice for cash flow - IMO too many potential issues here... much rather charge at time of service even with established clients.
 

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No question is silly! There's really not a whole lot anyone can do with a check made out to a business name other than deposit it. That's why most services discourage cash payments. Too many questions arise if cash somehow can not be accounted for. Has a check ever been lost, yes. It's an embarrassing phone call to make but a check can be easily replaced- lost cash, nope.
 

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I had another problem related to the move. I had a job in Stuttgart and our head office was in Berlin. The head office was where all the employees would gather every month, and I thought that the company was covering all the transportation costs, but after the first meeting I was disappointed to find out that it wasn't. I hinted to my supervisor several times about the problem, but he did nothing about it. Eventually I realized I had to deal with it and found a great booking service https://www.dbauskunft.com/de/ where I could choose from a variety of options and easily book tickets online. I recently quit that job, but I still use that service for travel.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience, it's very interesting. I also travel a lot for work and the management does not compensate us for the cost of the flight. As a true connoisseur of comfort, I prefer to travel only in business class, so I have to look for Cheap Business Class Flights to Mongolia to balance costs and comfort. It turns out that if you choose the right site for booking tickets, then a business class air ticket can be purchased at a nice price.
 
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