Do You Need A Part-time or a Full-time Housekeeper?


Published on January 3, 2024

If you have domestic staff in your house or are considering having staff then you may be wondering if you need a part time or a full time housekeeper. 

The role of a Housekeeper

All staff are there to fulfil the needs of the principals and their guests. Performing regular daily maintenance as well as ongoing projects. Housekeepers are experts in all areas of the house from special surface care to laundry, wardrobe management, and care of fine art and antiques. There are many people that would enjoy the benefits of a housekeeper to take themselves away from the daily chores we all face. 

A Full Time Housekeeper

A full time Housekeeper works on average 40hrs a week usually spread across 5 days. Working as part of a team or solo. There is always something to do such as updating inventories, deep detailed cleaning, laundry and possibly even light cooking duties. Wardrobe management can be a full time job on its own. If the property has guest accommodation within the grounds, pool rooms or games rooms also requiring attention this may be part of the housekeepers responsibilities. Some housekeepers help butlers with light service duties when required.

The need for a full time Housekeeper can depend on many factors. A Large property with many rooms that are in constant use will see an increased workload. Principals with high standards and specific needs generally require full time staff. Regular hosting with guests staying over either for long periods of time or constant change overs. Resulting in more cleaning and laundry, especially bed linen. 

A Part Time housekeeper 

A part time housekeeper has set hours and days that often revolve around the principals. Yet take into account the availability of the housekeeper. Some housekeepers have other part time jobs in addition. They may only work 2-3 days per week or a few hrs a day. 

The downside to part time at some properties means that they rarely get into jobs needing their attention. They often only end up surface cleaning. Their roles can on occasion become similar to a cleaner yet may do daily laundry, tidying and keep stock on cleaning supplies. Housekeepers provide a more personal touch and put away laundry and items. Cleaners generally pick it up, clean under and replace items. They don’t usually have time to reorganise and clean out cupboards and storage areas.

Part time can mean housekeepers can allow for increased motivation and positive work ethic. They do not get stagnant in their role as they are not at the property day in and day out. 

Part time housekeepers can be all that’s needed if principals are rarely in residence and when they are home they have little laundry, eat out each night and rarely have guests to stay over. Therefore the need for a full time housekeeper isn’t always justified. 

Some staff work on a flexible approach allowing them to be able to do extra days occasionally or maybe there are daily cleaners and as a housekeeper you oversee them. They may get extra help with spring cleans or areas where they require an extra pair of hands such as Christmas time.

Many full time Nannies look after all the housekeeping in children’s areas, such as beds, rooms, laundry and cooking as well as tidying and cleaning play rooms. The only areas left to clean are communal areas, master bedroom and guest areas that are rarely used. Taking this into account then a part time housekeeper is more realistic. 

What are your Requirements

Advice can be given to what staff are required and for how many hours they work. However a few questions need to be asked to ascertain what requirements there are. 

Principals with extremely high standards very often acknowledge the importance of consistency with full time staff. Perhaps there is a  need for someone for a short period a few days a week. The property could be a weekend residence. When at the property there is very little mess made and only a small amount of laundry to do. 

If you have a Large family who entertains regularly with many guests that stay over then more than likely a full time housekeeper or team of area what is required. Are there other members of staff? Do they need help, or do they help? 

Have you considered two part time housekeepers? It can be the best of both worlds, that way it ensures someone is at the property each day. Carrying out the daily routine as well as keeping on top of more time consuming tasks. Another factor may be that the housekeeper you have can only work part time and they are worth keeping.

How Can Polo & Tweed Help?

A surveillance day by our expert consultants at your residence to observe what your requirements are is a great way to get the support you may need.  We perform many on site visits or video calls to ascertain if you have the correct ratios of staff. If you would like to know more contact us online or visit our vacancies page for the latest roles.

by calling +44(0)203 858 0233 to speak with our Training Department.

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