“We work very hard to ensure every room is clean and safe for the guests’ utmost comfort,” says Margaret, Executive Housekeeper of PARKROYAL on Beach Road, “our commitment is what makes every guest’s stay memorable.”
We spent some time chatting with this affable lady who has been in the industry for almost 30 years, with a passion so strong for housekeeping that we could tell from the sparkle in her eyes when she shared with us her journey from a junior Housekeeper to what she is today.
So what is it really like in the shoes of those room attendants who always move around the property quietly but efficiently, keeping everything intact and ensuring a clean and safe environment to stay in? Here, we take a peek into the role of a hotel housekeeper, the daily job scopes, and things that you never knew about being a housekeeper.
THE DAILY JOB SCOPE OF A HOUSEKEEPER
The housekeeping team works for an average of 8 hours a day, and they either clean the rooms individually or work as a pair; the latter is most common for big properties. There is a quota for them, and it ranges from 12 to 18 rooms (may differ from property to property) per day – some rooms may take as fast as 20 minutes, while the checked-out rooms require a more thorough clean that may take up to 45 minutes.
Everyone can be better customers by not making a mess of the room, and doing a simple clean up of the room before checking out. Every small action counts, and will make life a lot easier for the housekeepers.
THINGS THAT YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT BEING A HOUSEKEEPER
Cleaning a room sounds simple, but is it really? There are many steps that we never knew of, until Margaret led us in to the world she lived in.
Who would have known that the housekeepers have to go through every piece of trash in the dustbin to ensure no valuables landed in accidentally? And lost & found items are reported and handed in immediately, usually stored in the lost & found department for 3 months.
And there is a trick to vacuuming – they start from the end of the room to the door, in a strict uniform direction. Now you appreciate the neat lines and straight carpets.
CAREER PROGRESSION OF A HOUSEKEEPER
Joining the housekeeping team requires an eye for details. The smallest speck of dust has to be taken care of, and pressing the sheets is an art to master.
Following NTUC’s Progressive Wage Model where staff are given opportunities to climb the skill, wage, career and productivity ladders, everyone begins as a Housekeeper (or some may call it Room Attendant), then moving to being a Supervisor, Assistant Executive Housekeeper, and Executive Housekeeper.
Promotion depends on one’s capability and records, and training and upgrading courses are offered to outstanding potentials (varies from hotel to hotel).
Hotel housekeepers work hard behind the scenes to ensure that everyone has a pleasant stay. The next time you see them, give them a smile and thank them for their hard work.
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.