In the carpet cleaning industry, you often hear of one man crews being better than one two man crews. In truly selfish terms, the employer can make a lot more money with one man crews. The cost to the employer is less with one man crews. Also, they spend longer in the presence of the customer and build more of a rapport which helps in increasing on site sales or “up-selling”.
The flaw in this strategy is that it only benefits the company and in no way benefits the client. The customer may believe that the extra time spent by one person means better quality. However, between setting up the job, pre-spraying, cleaning, setting down the wand to pull the hose or go get the spot treatments, easily two thirds of the time is spent doing what the assistant would do while the crew chief keeps the wand moving. The truth is this is all wasted time that the customer could be using to live their busy lives.
Two man crews are efficient. It is easier for a crew chief to ask his assistant to go to the truck to get something, than to set the wand down and go get it himself. This can lead to steps being skipped for the sake of time or fatigue.
One other important factor that I have found is accountability. Two man teams rely on each other. One person can’t sacrifice quality without it affecting the other worker. It’s much easier to decide to slack off for one day or one job without personal accountability to another crew member.
Loneliness can also lead to depression. There is no one to help spur the other team member on. Honestly, cost to the employer and increased sales are the only benefits to having one man crews. Solo routes will always be necessary in any carpet cleaning company. That being said, for the sake of the customer, solo routes should be the exception, not the rule.