day porter vs janitor

Day Porter Vs. Janitor – What is the Difference?

Published Date August 12, 2022

Across the world, commercial properties employ a lot of personnel who have separate job descriptions and responsibilities. They are employed directly by the management of the building itself. Most of these jobs involve the proper maintenance of the building since it has a commercial value that is markedly different from the real-estate market that encompasses residential complexes.
This is where the day porter vs. janitor debate starts.
There are several organizations in the United States and across the world that use these 2 words interchangeably. But that is not quite correct as janitors and day porters have different responsibilities, skillsets, work hours, and functions.
Let us have a quick look at how these job roles differ.

Who are day porters?

A day porter is also known as a facility coordinator and essentially serves as the brand ambassador of that building. They occupy a higher rank in the hierarchy of the building’s management structure and janitors are mostly subservient to them.
Day porters have several roles which actually do not fall under a single ceiling.
For example, a porter is entrusted with the check-in and check-out of visitors to the commercial establishment they work in. While this aspect falls under the aegis of the security department, day porters also have to keep an eye on the figures.
Another big example vis-a-vis the confusing day porter vs. janitor debate is that their primary responsibility is to ensure that the establishment is presentable and spic and span throughout the year. Unlike janitors, day porters work using a weekly chart that is prepared on the first working day.
Day porters will reflect and implement the best practices when it comes to keeping the building in perfect working order. From making up the rules of cleaning & maintaining every corner to handling an army of workers who are tasked with the actual physical process of cleaning (which includes janitorial staff and other specialists who are often hidden), they handle several key roles.

Who are janitors, then?

Janitors are the personal key to keeping the building clean. They work in shifts and ensure that every space that is accessible to the general public (or employees of the offices located in commercial buildings) is fully disinfected, dry, and free from trash.
Often, janitors carry a set of custom-made master keys using which they can enter almost every office, and clean every part of it using vacuum cleaners, detergents, mops, and so on. Without janitors, it will be virtually impossible for any commercial complex to function properly.
‘Deep cleaning’ is a term that is often used to describe janitorial work. Simply put, it means that they are responsible for the cleansing and upkeep of all common areas including big meeting halls, common toilets, the main entrances and the exits, and so on.
You are more likely to have janitors in other establishments like hospitals and hotels than day porters. This is a key differentiator when you are discussing day porters vs. janitors.

What are some more differences?

These are some of them.

1. Mandatory duties

A day porter is essentially a housekeeper of a commercial building where hundreds (or more) people visit every day. Given the traffic, many of the older office buildings might require more repairs and increased maintenance. It is the task of a day porter or the facility coordinator to ensure that these aspects are attended to. They have to keep track of what work is ongoing at any given moment so that safety drills can be run without a hitch.
You could argue that they act as a liaison between various departments of the establishment.
Janitors have, by and large, the responsibility of keeping the building clean and free from any piece of rubbish or disposable waste.
For this, they have to keep a number of chemicals and other cleaning equipment inside locked cabinets. If the janitors realize that they are running short of the supplies they need to keep every nook and cranny spotless and unsullied, they will ask the janitors for restocking.
Ever since the onset of the pandemic, the fine line that separates the roles of porters and janitors has become a bit hazier. This has made having the last word on the day porter vs. janitors more difficult.

2. Employment status

While most commercial buildings hire day porters directly, they often outsource the janitors’ work. The latter may not often be direct employees of their workplace.
This is why there is significant demand for janitorial services in Tampa FL and across the United States.

3. Skills and training required

Day porters are mostly better educated than janitors and must possess good interpersonal skills. Janitors must have the ability to use dangerous chemicals on a regular basis and require training. But both these job roles require a lot of stamina and mental fortitude since long working hours (most of which are spent standing) are par for the course.
There are also differences in remuneration and other emoluments when it comes to day porters vs. janitors.

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