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Dirty office kitchens causing workplace rifts

17 December 2018

New research from the professional division of Miele has revealed that dirty office kitchens are causing workplace rifts and disrupting performance, with 9 out of 10 workers surveyed wanting improved facilities. 44% of office workers also say that their colleagues’ dishwashing abilities are well below par.

The survey of 500 office workers found that organisations could face difficulties recruiting new talent if they can’t provide high quality kitchen facilities, with 54% of respondents admitting they would consider turning down a job if the kitchen was not up to scratch.

Unwashed dishes are the most common kitchen bugbear, for 45% of respondents, while grimy work surfaces, dirty appliances and overflowing bins are also leaving many UK employees feeling disgusted with colleagues. Unsurprisingly, 75% of individuals feel their home kitchen is much cleaner than their office facilities.

Workers are also more than happy to make their kitchen cleanliness dissatisfaction known. 76% would hang a sign in the kitchen while 41% would ‘out’ a colleague in front of other employees and 55% would report a culprit to management. This highlights the wider affect that unclean kitchen facilities can have on employee happiness and job satisfaction.

The research also highlighted that many office kitchens are lacking the appliances needed to uphold a high standard of kitchen etiquette. Only a third have a dishwasher and even then, not all employees are using the appliances available to their advantage. Only a fifth of individuals rate their own dishwashing as excellent, and quarter admit to not emptying the dishwasher when it has finished its cycle.

Despite these issues, the office kitchen appears to be a vital part of working life. 61% of respondents use the facilities up to several times a day. 35% feel as though the kitchen offers an opportunity to socialise while 34% like having access to free drinks such as tea and coffee.

The research also shows the need for better appliances in office kitchens. 47% feel as though having more cleaning equipment and white goods such as dishwashers would help to improve the quality of the office kitchen and help to maintain cleanliness standards.

Sam Bailey, sales & marketing director for the Professional Division of Miele, said: “For many offices and workers throughout the UK the kitchen is a hive of activity and the heart of the business. The fact that only a third of UK offices have a dishwasher highlights the need for quality and reliable appliances to help to make life easier for staff and ensure dirty dishes are returned clean."

Miele commissioned the independent survey with Sapio Research as part of its new ProfiLine Dishwasher launch.