Some industrial plants advertise “housekeeping positions,” but most people employed in this occupation work at homes, hotels, or senior communities.
The pros and cons of being a housekeeper vary according to the type of facility you work in.
Pros of Being a Housekeeper
1. Provide a Much-Needed Service
As a housekeeper, you improve the quality of life for people by providing a clean and comfortable living environment and performing tasks they might not have time to do.
You also might have clients who physically cannot do it either who would appreciate the help.
If so, it reduces their stress levels and helps them relax, knowing their home chores are in capable hands.
People staying in hotels also need you because they do not want to pick up after themselves on vacation.
2. Many Day Work Positions
Not all housekeeping jobs will hire you for only day shifts, but most hotels and resorts will.
This leaves you time for evening family, hobbies, or social activities.
If you have other dreams and goals, you might have more time for lectures, workshops, and conferences at night related to what you want to accomplish if you work in a hotel during the day.
By the way, you also could schedule private home cleaning during the day, with or without the customer present.
If you do not own your own house cleaning business, you could find a job performing these tasks for a company.
3. Free (or Discounted) Room and Board
Some private housekeeping positions offer you the opportunity to live in an employer’s home for free or reduced rent.
In some cases, the homeowner you work for might also provide food, hygiene products, utilities, or Internet.
Hotels might offer you a free or discounted room, meals, and uniforms.
4. Relaxing (Private Housecleaning Jobs)
The most relaxing housekeeping jobs are when you clean a private home when the person who owns or rents the place is not home.
If you feel like taking your time, you can.
No boss or crew will try to hurry you unless you have too many houses to clean by yourself.
Private housecleaning also is less stressful than working as a cashier or office customer service position.
5. Work Travel Opportunities
You can find such a thing as a travel housekeeping position.
For instance, some hotels in Wisconsin might have you work between Fort Beaver Dam, Fort Atkinson, and Watertown.
If you work for a large chain, you might have the chance to transfer to a location either temporarily or permanently.
Positions like this exist in just about any U.S. state.
6. Could Keep You Physically Fit
Working as a housekeeper allows you the chance to get paid to exercise.
You will lessen your likelihood of experiencing weight gain when employed full-time in this position than if you work at a desk all day.
There is no guarantee of this, but the odds are in your favor if you want to improve your physical health.
7. Reduces Stress
In addition to providing your body with much-needed exercise without going to the gym, constant movement reduces mental and emotional stress.
You can improve your mood while moving quickly from one room to another in a hotel, for instance, because it activates hormones in you that make you “feel good.”
8. Possible Benefits
Some housekeeping jobs come with benefits, such as health insurance, 401K or use of the household vehicle.
If you must work on holidays, you might receive double time for that.
Some homeowners and hotels or private homeowners also might offer vacation pay, and you might also have some sick days.
It depends on the facility that you work for, however.
You might have more benefits if working for a company on payroll rather than as a self-employed private home cleaner who does not live in a customer/employer’s home.
Some senior living communities, nursing homes or assisted living centers might offer them though, even if you get reduced or free room and board.
9. Always Busy
You never run out of tasks to complete as a housekeeper even if you finish your routine chores early.
For instance, you could stay busy cleaning the back of a sink faucet with a toothbrush or wiping baseboards if you have free time.
Keeping busy with a variety of extra tasks after you completed your regular duties will prevent the boredom that some housekeepers have.
Cons of Being a Housekeeper
1. Too Fast-Paced For Some People
This pertains mostly to hotel work.
You have only so much time to make beds, take out the trash, sweep, mop, and vacuum plus clean all the smudges off surfaces and mirrors.
15 minutes may have already passed, and you perhaps have not even cleaned out the toilet yet.
Sometimes, you are lucky and no one has booked the room that you are cleaning, and that gives you a bit more time.
However, hotel rooms, nursing facilities and other places where large groups of people sleep at night have fewer downtimes than private homes.
Apartment complexes or condos, however, do not always require you to rush like you would in a large-group facility or hotel.
Vacation homes or beds and breakfasts also might have less downtime than larger buildings with many rooms.
2. Hard To Find Prestigious Positions
Perhaps you have always had a dream of finding a way to work for a rich person who lives in a mansion.
Becoming a housekeeper could make that come true, but finding a live-in position may not be easy.
You might have to work your way up from a less-prestigious position, hoping that you will eventually have the chance to clean one or more homes for the top one percent of wealthiest people.
3. Sometimes Calls For Heavy Lifting
You have to haul garbage bags to a dumpster, pull boxes down from the stockroom, and lift the mop bucket to dump it.
If you are responsible for laundry, you might have to carry full baskets to and from a folding table.
If you are working in a house position, you might have to bring baskets of clothes up and downstairs.
The same is true for a bed and breakfast or any place that might not have an elevator.
This strains your lower back and puts pressure on your knees, especially if you do not lift with your legs instead of your back.
4. Unmotivated Employees
Some unmotivated employees won’t complete their tasks, leaving more work for you.
Others might not follow instructions, such as when you try to teach them how to make a bed or clean a toilet.
Worse yet, co-workers might not show up for their shifts at all.
You might begin to resent them because of it, and this could cause you to feel overworked and hate your job.
5. Must Work Most Weekends
More hotel checkout times occur on Saturday and Sunday than during the week.
This makes it difficult to find time for a personal life on a weekend if you work in a hotel.
On the other hand, you at least would usually have early afternoons and evenings off.
You may request time off for a vacation, but your employer might not always grant it.
On the other hand, you might have the chance to work temporarily in a new location that you want to visit.
6. Sometimes Gets Lonely (If Working Alone)
Loneliness sets in if you are the type of housekeeper that cleans private homes all day when people are not home.
Sometimes, people do prefer that you clean when they are home, especially when they do not know you that well.
However, that is not always the case.
If you clean when the homeowners are not around, you might not interact with other people all day long.
That can make you feel lonely at times and wish that you had a job working with other people.
7. Sometimes Boring
Although some housekeeping jobs require some heavy lifting, most dusting, surface wiping, vacuuming, and other general cleaning duties may bore you.
Every week or even every day, you may have to complete the same repetitive tasks.
On the other hand, you can mix it up a little if you do not have to complete all chores at the same time of day.
What is more, you can divide your shift into easy and challenging task schedules to make it more interesting.
The tradeoff of sometimes getting bored, by the way, is that it is easy to work if your body can handle it.
8. Inconsiderate Guests
A common problem with working in a hospitality environment, such as a hotel, resort, campground, or another place where large groups of people stay, is people not leaving in time.
Usually, they need to be out by 11 a.m., but many of them may not have finished packing yet.
This puts you behind when cleaning rooms.
Pros and Cons of Being a Housekeeper – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Housekeeper||Cons of Being a Housekeeper|
|1. Provide a Much-Needed Service||1. Too Fast-Paced For Some People|
|2. Many Day Work Positions||2. Hard To Find Prestigious Positions|
|3. Free (or Discounted) Room and Board||3. Sometimes Calls For Heavy Lifting|
|4. Relaxing (Private Housecleaning Jobs)||4. Unmotivated Employees|
|5. Work Travel Opportunities||5. Must Work Most Weekends|
|6. Could Keep You Physically Fit||6. Sometimes Gets Lonely (If Working Alone)|
|7. Reduces Stress||7. Sometimes Boring|
|8. Possible Benefits||8. Inconsiderate Guests|
|9. Always Busy|
Should You Become a Housekeeper?
If you are looking for a job that does not require you to move as quickly as when working in a fast-food restaurant or retail store, a housekeeping job may be right for you.
Note, however, that some nursing home or hotel positions could stress you out because of the volume of people that need help in them.
The most relaxing housekeeping jobs probably are daytime house cleaning jobs in private homes or live-in positions in a single-family or multifamily unit.
Working onsite for an apartment management company may be the second-least stressful of all housekeeping positions.
If you want a less stressful cleaning job, you might instead try an office cleaning job where the place is closed in the evening.
Not many people would be around while you do your work.
However, you might have the chance to take on some private house cleaning jobs that just call for surface wiping, sweeping, and routine dusting or vacuuming, which would not put much strain on your body.
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