Getting down and dirty at work
August 1st 2009
New research suggests dirty, badly organised and unsafe work premises are costing UK companies vital business and reducing the productivity of their workforce.
The research – conducted on behalf of support services company, resource, identified that UK companies have cut their cleaning and maintenance budgets since the beginning of the recession. As a result, half of the employees surveyed said that they are now embarrassed about clients and customers visiting their workplace because of its presentation. A further 40% said that clients had noticed their premises’ deteriorating.
Employees are also being affected, suggests research, with 15% of respondents citing a dirty workplace and a badly laid out office as the aspect currently impacting most on their productivity. Safety is also an issue, with more than one in ten of those who answered saying that they believe they work in an unsafe environment.
The bad habits of colleagues also come in for criticism, with a third of respondents saying that their co-workers do not clean up after themselves in the office, toilet or work kitchen.
Workplace washrooms offer no safe haven, with 58% of people describing their work toilet facilities as ‘adequate at best’ and 10% as ‘filthy.’
Asked what improvement to their physical environment would increase their productivity the most, 45% of people opted for more natural light, perhaps unsurprising when you consider that almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they have difficult seeing out of their windows because they are so dirty.
“Forty per cent of those surveyed said the company they worked for had scaled back on the provision of cleaning, maintenance and security,” says Esther Wassmann, MD of resource. “It is clear that these cuts are having an impact on the workforce and could be putting off potential customers at a time when every business should be trying its upmost to attract new business.”
More articles from Cleaning Matters: