Set Up Guide for Cleaning Companies (Operations Hub)

Get your Cleaning business running smoothly and efficiently with Connecteam

Adva Deuitch avatar
Written by Adva Deuitch
Updated over a week ago

At Connecteam, we want your setup to be swift and clean. As customer success managers we took our experience from working with hundreds of cleaning companies worldwide and created this step-by-step tutorial to get your company set up to PERFECTION. You can expect this guide to go through all of the steps needed to get your account up and running with real-world examples of how each feature or capability can work for a cleaning company your size. Like Connecteam, this guide works as an all-in-one solution to your Operations Hub Set Up.

While there are many other articles found here on our Help Center we have designed this guide particularly for cleaning companies of your kind and it should walk you through your complete setup step by step.

Don't worry! We’ve got all of the first steps to make your life easy and Connecteam work for you! 🤩

Table of Contents

After reading this guide you should be able to start fully operating the platform you will learn how to:

💡Tip: Anytime you see blue text in this article it is a link or menu of links to other areas inside this guide. If you're looking for something specific, or you don't finish the setup in one day, you can always find what you need or pick up where you left off by clicking on the relevant topic.

👪 Users & Smart Groups:

The first steps when setting up your account is going to be adding your users and creating your smart groups. In this section we will walk you through:

🗣 Custom Fields

Custom fields are information fields found inside the user's profile, and are filled with information specific to each employee. Custom fields are a smart way to identify and group your workforce, allowing you to customize what information is important to your company in order to organize its users. Examples of custom fields can be Position, Department, Birthday, Uniform Size, and much more.

We recommend planning out the information you want to know about your employees and creating these custom fields prior to adding the employees themselves. This will allow you to update all their information when adding them and save you tons of time later.

Adding a Custom Field

To add a custom field head over to the user's tab, enter the employee's detail page then select Add Field and choose the type of field, name it, and press save. In the example below you can see we created a custom field named position. In my company, the positions will be private or commercial cleaners.

*Please note that there are 3 default fields you will never be able to edit or delete; these are First Name, Last Name, and Mobile Phone.

💡A Customer Success Manager’s Tip: We recommend using the drop-down custom field type when creating your custom fields, which allows you to create a list of information to select from when filling out the custom field. This will simplify things later if using smart groups, which are filtered by custom fields. The filter of smart groups is case-sensitive, and here at Connecteam we have encountered numerous companies whose users were not added to the proper smart groups because of typos made when filling out a user's custom field. Using a drop-down custom field avoids this possibility right from the start!

👤 Adding Users

Once you have set up your custom fields it's time to move on to adding users. After all, that's what you came here for - managing your workforce.

To add users simply navigate your way to the Users Tab on the left - hand and click on it. Once inside select Add Users and fill in the requested details. You can also use the menu on the right side to add more details than the ones which appear here which are only the required fields. After filling out the details make sure the Send an invite button is selected in order to

💡Tip: If you have many users, you can import them in bulk

👥 Creating Smart Groups to Sort Users

Smart groups are groups based on rules. All the users who meet the rule will automatically be added to the group and those who don't will not be added. It's as simple as that. A smart groups filter is based on custom fields - which we previously created.

In cleaning companies' smart groups are hugely beneficial and allow you to create different teams with different qualifications for your staff. For example, you can group your staff by their ability to do specific jobs like- private or commercial jobs. Since Connecteam's features, assets, jobs in the schedule, chats and much more can be assigned to smart groups, grouping them now will help us later on with things like scheduling correctly (and much more).

To Create a Smart Group Follow These Steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the smart group's category on the left sidebar

Step 2: First, add a Segment

Step 3: Use the + Add a group button from inside the Segment to create a group and then name the group.

Step 4: Set the Filter. First, choose the Custom field, and then finally select or enter the criteria that the group will be defined by.

In the example below you can see how I create a group of only my staff who are qualified as private cleaners.

Now that you know the basics of setting up your account it's time to move on to the features related to the operations hub.

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The Operations Hub

While this hub consists of four features, we find that the time clock, job schedule, and forms are the most useful for cleaning companies. As we will explain below, the capabilities in each feature that are most commonly used by small and large-sized cleaning companies can be set up and utilized.

⏱️ Time Clock: Track Your Employees' Hours.

Utilizing the time clock will allow you to track your employee’s work time and help ensure that you are paying them for the actual time they’ve worked.

From all the many cleaning companies used by Connecteam, we found that there are 4 capabilities that should be used to optimally run your business.

These are:

Users Experience

For you employees using Connecteam's Time Clock in their day 2 day is a breeze! They can clock in and out only to jobs relevant to them, switch jobs, take a break, review their timesheets, and much more! Take a look at how using the time clock looks from their perspective below, and then lets get started setting up and customize your company's time clock.

Jobs & Sub-jobs:

The first thing you will want to do is set up your jobs and sub-jobs. "Jobs" in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for. Cleaning companies usually use the client or locations as "Jobs" ("Martha's House", "Wells Fargo Offices", etc).

With the Sub-Jobs, add an additional layer to your time tracking. For each client you create as a job, you can create a sub-job to specify the relevant type of cleaning your employee is meant to do. (Job: "Martha's House", Sub-jobs: "Deep Clean", "Carpet Cleaning")

To Set Up Jobs Follow These Steps:

  1. Click TimeClock in your sidebar.

  2. Click access TimeClock.

  3. Click the Settings.

  4. Once the settings window opens, click jobs.

  5. Click “+Add job”

A Real-World Example: Throughout this guide, we will share with you real examples from cleaning companies using Connecteam so you can get an idea of all that is possible with Connecteam in a way that is specific to your industry.

One company we work with set their jobs up as the locations of their private cleaning jobs.

⏰Set Up Your Breaks (Paid and Unpaid)

Enabling Breaks within the Time Clock, you can easily track your user's break hours. This ensures that your company with your state or country breaks laws and/or that you don’t pay your employees for time they were not actually working on the clock. Connecteam offers two types of breaks: manual breaks and automatic breaks.

Connecteam gives you two ways to track your breaks:

  1. Automatic unpaid breaks - Automatically deduct X amount of minutes after a certain amount of hours worked. Once activated, unpaid break time will be deducted from the daily total hours for each employee according to your time clock breaks settings.

  2. Manual paid and unpaid breaks - Allow your employees to manually clock into paid or unpaid breaks. This is great for managers whose employees don't always have a fixed break schedule and need to track when and where their employees took a break from. Paid breaks will be added to the daily total whereas unpaid breaks will not.

To Set Up Breaks Follow These Steps:

Enter the time clock, go to settings, to the breaks tab, select enable breaks, then choose the type of breaks and set the relevant criteria.

🏠Geo Fences & Breadcrumbs

Inside the time clock, we have two capabilities that can help you prevent time theft: Geofencing and Breadcrumbs.


These allows you to create a geographic "fence" around a site or an address and have it associated with a job. In other words, to clock into that job, users must be within that specific fence, or else the job will not appear for them to clock into. As a cleaning company you can create fenced work sites around your client's locations, so cleaners will be able to clock in and out only at a client's location eliminating time theft altogether.

To Set Up a Geofence Follow These Steps:

  1. Access the time clock & click settings

  2. Click on Geolocation on the left side of the settings menu

  3. Set Geolocation to Required

  4. On the same page, under Sites for Geo-fence, click on the Add Site button.

  5. Name the site for your convenience (i.e. customer A, project B, worksite 3, offices, warehouse, etc.)

  6. Type an address or a location name (integrated with Google Maps) and make sure to select from the suggested results.

  7. Set the fence size for that site

  8. Select what jobs will be available to clock in from within that site (jobs that are not listed under any of your sites, will be available to use from anywhere according to users qualifications)


Allow you to track your employee's whereabouts while they clock in so you can make sure they are in the right place at the right time! Cleaning companies like to use breadcrumbs because

To Set Up Breadcrumbs:

Head to your time clock, click on Settings at the top right, and select geolocation on the left (like you did above when activating your geofence), now select activate Breadcrumbs.

A Real-World Example: A cleaning company from California has been dealing with time theft for a very long time. Once they started using Connecteam and set fences around their Jobs set as locations they managed to solve the time theft problem completely! Having the option to see their employees clocking in and out in the set fence did them wonders! when commuting, they see exactly if they went straight to the next job or if they did a stop along the way.

⌨️Timesheets and Payroll

With Connecteam, you can easily define your payroll period and set up reminders for your employees to go over their timesheets and for managers to approve any pending changes that employees have requested.

To begin, head into your Time Clock and click on Settings at the top right and then Payroll on the left.

In the top section, you can define when your week starts, how long your payroll cycle is, and when your latest payroll period ended (this will then automatically update for the next period).

Now that we have set our payroll period let's go through a step-by-step guide to simplify your payroll.

Step 1: Approve / Decline requests

After your employees have sent in their timesheet requests, it is time for you to go over the requests one by one and approve or decline them. This step is important as you do not want to go over their timesheets without making sure that the employees have had a chance to make amendments, or else you might have to unnecessarily repeat the approval process.

Step 2: Go Over Timesheets

After employees have sent in their requests and you have completed the approval process, it is time to have a final look and look at each employee's timesheet to ensure that everything is correct. To do so, go click on the first user on the list to enter their timecard.

Step 3: Exporting timesheets for payroll

After you have gone over all your employees' hours the final step is to close the window and you are now ready to export the timesheets for payroll.

Export options

Payroll totals (.xlsx)

Our Payroll totals export is perfect for companies that only care about the bottom line for each employee. This export is our most summarized export and contains one row per employee with all of their totals.

Timesheets (.xlsx)

The timesheet export breaks down your employee's hours on a day-to-day basis. In other words, on any given day. you can see their hours worked, what job they clocked into, and depending on your settings, custom fields, their geolocation stamps, shift attachments, overtime, and much more. This export is great for companies that want an overview of exactly what is going on for each workday.

Timesheets (PDF)

Our timesheets PDF is similar to our timesheets in that it splits the information on a day-by-day basis, but exports the information in a more presentable format. A lot of Connecteam managers use this report to, for instance, share with external clients that they want to bill.

If you export the timesheet PDF from your timesheets tab, you will be able to export it, and customize the report to your liking and choose to include up to four shift attachments such as your employee's signatures, employee notes, and manager notes. for all your employees and the reports will be sent to your email. You can of course also export it for a specific employee by going into their own timesheets.

Shift Report (.xlsx)

The report resembles our timesheets but the main difference is that each shift will have its own row. This export is more suitable for companies that have employees that work overnight shifts and that do not want the hours split across two rows. Like the timesheet export, you get to customize what fields should be in the report and the end result will look something like this:

Shift Report (PDF)

Just like the shift report, if you have a shift that crosses days, the shift report PDF will keep each shift on a single row instead of splitting it up into several days and will allow you to include employee notes, manager notes, and up to four shift attachments

💡Customer Success Pro Tip: The Time Clock feature allows you to send periodic auto reports of timesheets and payroll exports to email addresses of your choice and set your payroll process on auto-pilot. This is good practice for larger cleaning companies that want to automate their process.

👀Syncing Time Clock With Job Scheduler

Our time clock and scheduling are two separate features that can be used separately or in sync.

The job scheduler makes it effortless to plan and assign team members to shifts, whereas the time clock makes it easy to track the actual work time of your team and improves your payroll process. If you're new to Connecteam, those features will be synced by default if both are activated.

How to Sync the Time Clock with the Job Scheduler

When you have the two features synced, you will see that:

  • Users will be able to clock in directly from their shift: this saves the extra steps of both checking in to the shift and clocking in. All the time tracking records will be automatically documented in the time clock's timesheets.

  • Unified job list: the ‘jobs’ from both features will be unified and synced including all the relevant job information. Adding new jobs, editing, and removing existing jobs from the schedule will affect the time clock and vice versa.

  • Filter users in the time-clock according to their shifts: when the 2 features are synced, you can finally get a quick understanding of everyone who should be working today.

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📆 Job Scheduler: publish your needs with ease.

The Job Scheduler makes it effortless to publish 'claimable' open shifts for your team and provides them with all the info they need right in their mobile apps, such as location, special instructions, attached files, and more.

Of all the many cleaning companies used by Connecteam, there are few capabilities in the job schedule that should be used to optimally schedule all your employees and clients. These are:

Users Experience

For your employees using Connecteam's Job Schedule couldn't be easier.

They can easily see their schedule and all its details. If you, the admin/owner, allow them, then they can also see their whole team's schedule, submit their availability, and find shift replacements on their own.

Jobs & Sub-jobs

The first thing you will want to do is set up your jobs and sub-jobs. "Jobs" in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for. Cleaning companies usually use the client or locations as "Jobs" ("Martha's House", "Wells Fargo Offices", etc).

With the Sub-Jobs, add an additional layer to your time tracking. For each client you create as a job, you can create a sub-job to specify the relevant type of cleaning your employee is meant to do. (Job: "Martha's House", Sub-jobs: "Deep Clean", "Carpet Cleaning")

To Set Up Jobs Follow These Steps:

  1. Click Jobs in the Job scheduler dashboard.

  2. Click “+Add job”

Qualifying Users to Sub-Jobs

Sub-jobs give you the option to create jobs that are aligned and connected to the parent job, making your scheduling process more detailed and accurate.

For example, if you have a job that is a client with multiple locations the sub-jobs can be these locations.

The default option for the sub-job settings would be the same as the parent job, meaning - the users that are qualified for the parent job would also be qualified for the sub-job. You can adjust this setting by unselecting the box that says 'Use same settings as a parent job' and adjust the users/smart groups that are qualified for this sub-job:

When an admin wants to assign users to a shift, the system will group them into 'Qualified users' and 'Other users' to give you an indication of who's qualified for this job and who's not:

A Real World Example: You can set your 'Job' as the location where 5 users are qualified. And have 5 different 'Sub-Jobs' that each of them users is qualified and not all 5 users. This is how a cleaning company from Utah does that when scheduling an apartment building, each cleaner has a few apartments that he is "in charge" of.

For Larger Companies: It happens that a few cleaners work in a specific location. In that case, a Job would be the location that will be scheduled for a few cleaners, but the Sub-job will be different for each cleaner. For example, deep cleaning, office #5, apartment #7, first floor, etc.

💡Pro tip: You can always change the qualification of an existing job from the settings of each job.

Open Shifts

Open shifts will help you build your Jon Scheduler a lot faster! You can now create open shifts and your cleaners can claim them on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Using open shifts means that besides scheduling the open shifts you don’t need to do any more scheduling!

How to Create An Open Shift

In the Job Scheduler, you have 2 ways to create an open shift.

1. Position yourself on the shifts without users row and hover your mouse over any day, then click the plus icon (+) to add a shift:

2. Click Add shifts on the top right of the screen, then click Add single shift:

Complete the shift details: date, time, title, job, location, shift notes, and tasks. Select ‘Enable users to claim this shift’ and choose the number of available spots. Click save and publish. Take a look at how this looks below:

Now your open shift has been published!

How Do Open Shifts Look in the Scheduler?

Open shifts appear in the shifts without users row and will have a blue square with a number on the left upper corner, indicating how many spots are left to fill.

Open shifts are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once a cleaner claims a shift, the shift will be added automatically to the cleaner's schedule.

Recurring Shifts

Recurring shifts are for cleaning companies that have the same shifts that are being performed by the same cleaner at the same time a few days a week or even once a month, it is for you to decide. You can set a shift to repeat daily, weekly, or monthly and when to end the series of those shifts.

Schedule Templates

Save shifts and weekly schedules as templates and save yourself time when dispatching your schedule.

How to Create a New Shift Template?

There are two ways to create a new shift template:

  • Open the shift templates side window, and click on the "add template" button at the bottom

  • Click on any slot, click on the + button, add the shift details and save it as a template

  • You can also perform the same action for an existing shift and save it as a template. The existing shift can be a draft, a published shift, or a past or future shift.

How to Choose From My Existing Templates?

There are two ways to create a new shift template:

  • Open the shift templates side window, and simply drag and drop shifts to the desired slot in your schedule

  • On any scheduled slot, click on the + button and choose a template from the Templates tab

  • Click on the "Add shifts" button and choose "add from templates"

Here is How to Create Weekly Templates:

  1. Navigate to your job schedule.

  2. Create the weekly schedule that you wish to turn into a template.

  3. Once you have successfully created your weekly schedule, tap the "Actions" button located on the upper right of your schedule page.

  4. And select "Save Week as Template" and give it a meaningful name.

To Load a Weekly Template Follow These Steps:

  1. Navigate to the relevant week

  2. Tap the "Actions" button and select "Load week template".

  3. Choose the weekly template you wish to apply and the full week will be auto-populated on your planning board. A total time-saver!

  4. Remember that if you already have shifts during the week, the system will let you choose whether you wish to replace the current shifts or add to the existing shifts.

*Don't forget to publish the shifts by pressing the "Publish" button located on the top right menu of the scheduling page, so it will be distributed to your team.

🏢For Larger Companies: Larger companies will use the weekly templates since they have more of the same schedule throughout. Doing so allows them to save time when dispatching, and their cleaners can plan ahead as well.

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📄 Forms: Go paperless!

Automating processes and standardizing them is something that is important for every business and especially in the cleaning industry. Forms allow your cleaners to submit their 'proof of work', daily checklists, expense reimbursement, incident report, client signature form, and much more!

In this section we will go over:

Users Experience

For your employees using Connecteam's Job Schedule couldn't be easier.

They can easily see their schedule and all its details. If you, the admin/owner, allow them, then they can also see their whole team's schedule, submit their availability, and find shift replacements on their own.

Creating a Form Step by Step

Step 1: To begin creating your form click on add new and select either "Start From Scratch" or "Use a Template". For this example, we will use a template.

We will choose the Daily Cleaning Checklist

Step 2: After choosing the Form, click on any of the objects on the left side of the screen to change the fields in your Form. It can be anything from a task, signature, photos, dropdown, and more!

You can change the order of existing fields and even delete the ones that appear in the templates

💡Pro tip: When creating your Form, you are able to make a field required, meaning employees will not be able to complete the Form without filling out that field. An example would be a daily task list where you want to make sure that your users are not missing out on completing any tasks. The rule of thumb should be: if the information is crucial for you, make sure to set the field as required.

Step 3: When your Form is complete, make sure to take another look at the mobile preview to make sure it looks good and that you are capturing all the necessary information. When you are satisfied with your Form, click on save changes to assign it to your users.

As your employees submit the Form, their entries are saved and documented on your dashboard and can be accessed whenever you need them.

Viewing Submitted Forms

See all entries by clicking on 'Show Entries'. You can also set your Form settings, edit the Form, edit the assignment, or archive the Form, by entering Options.

Share Options

After you have finished creating your Form you might want to configure your settings so that the Form entries can be shared with the correct stakeholders.

To configure the sharing options, let's head into the Form settings and share options:

To begin with, at the top of the sharing options you are able to choose if the receiver should receive Form entries over the email as a direct attachment or as a link to download the entry.

After you have set that up, you have three Form sharing options to choose from to ensure that the right person will always receive the Form information:

  1. Share every entry automatically with the following

  2. Entry will be shared according to the user's selection from a list

  3. Allow users to add an email address manually

💡Real-Life Example: Cleaning company in the UK shares its 'proof of work' Form with the client at the end of the cleaning job. The client sees the before and after photos and what was done. Great use of the share options!

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In this article, we have covered all you need as a cleaning company owner/manager to get you started with the operation hub. It is important to note that all that we covered here are top of the iceberg when it comes to the features and platform's full capabilities. To keep learning and utilizing Connecteam to the fullest you can visit our help center for further guidance.

Need more guidance? 🙋 Our LIVE support team (at the bottom right corner of your screen) replies in under 5 mins to ANY question.

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