A housekeeper/carer is a person who combines the valuable support of care duties, for anyone with special needs or for the elderly or disabled. Along with their care duties, which may be straightforward or complex, they will also help with housekeeping duties, allowing the person they are supporting to relax, when they might not physically be able to manage the housework, cooking etc.
So what type of duties do a housekeeper/carer typically perform? And why is it important to have a duty list?
What type of duties does a housekeeper typically perform?
- House management, organisation and general tidying
- Inventory of housekeeping cleaning products
- Upkeep and general maintenance (or sending for repair) the housekeeping tools
- All general cleaning, both deep and upkeep of all the rooms in the property
- Deep cleaning inside appliances
- Emptying rubbish and bins
- Laundry, ironing and wardrobe management
- Clothing care, repairs and sending clothes to the dry cleaners
- Window care and cleaning
- Light gardening
- Cooking, from simply daily cuisine through to more advanced dinner parties and events
- Running errands
- Managing inventory and stock keeping
- Pet care, including feeding, walking and taking to the vet
- Light childcare, assisting with children or babysitting
- Admin, paperwork and organisation
- Dealing with contractors and deliveries
- House sitting and property care when the principals are travelling or away from the home
What type of duties does a housekeeper/carer typically perform on top of the housekeeping duties?
- Driving to and from medical appointments
- Picking up prescription
- Giving medication, and ensuring that the medical timetable is followed
- Physical assistance, from minimal through to maximum depending on the amount of physical aid which is needed
- Companionship and mental emotional support – a friendly person to turn to, and offer companionship and company
- A person to call on in emergency, providing overnight support should it be applicable
Why is it important to have a housekeeping duties list?
It is very important to have a housekeeper duty list – as this helps define expectations from the property from the offset. It helps to ensure that there are no ‘grey’ areas, and can mean that members of staff provide a high level of attention to the areas they are expected to do.
However, bear in mind, that different members of staff respond differently to instructions, some prefer a written list, others prefer a visual example, but the list is a good way to define the key duties expected each day, week or month.
Many properties will use a rota or schedule to ensure that the duties are all listed. This can in turn help with staff efficiency, staff organisation and to ensure complete peace of mind that the household duties are performed to the highest standards and expectations of the principals.
What are the qualities that a housekeeping staff member should possess to be professional?
Housekeepers should always remain professional, discreet and well mannered, but there are a number of qualities that will take a good housekeeper to an incredible housekeeper. These include:
- Communication skills
- Ability to read, judge and pre-empt the needs of the venue without asking (initiative)
- Flexibility to adjust to changing family life or schedules, rising to the challenge without fail
- Ability to self-educate. If they don’t know how to do something, they look to find ways to self-educate (perhaps via Google or a course) to learn the missing skills
- Honesty and a desire to help and serve
- An ability to be kind, calm and cope with pressure
How could Polo & Tweed help?
Polo & Tweed are experienced, in London, the UK and around the world in finding the very best housekeeper/carers for our clients. We also work with families just needing a housekeeper or a carer. Whatever you are looking for, our experienced team of consultants can help match the right candidate to the property.
We aim to remove the stress from the recruitment process, and you can sit back and relax, knowing that the candidates you interview are fully vetted to the highest standards.
If you’d like to know more, or want to discuss your specific needs please do get in touch with us here.