According to the results of a study conducted in the UK on behalf of Kohler Mira Limited, soaping up during the work day can increase productivity and creativity for employees. Over a two month period, participants in the study were asked to take shower breaks during the course of the day, and results showed improvement across a range of areas, from mood to productivity.
Employees taking shower breaks at the four businesses—advertising agency Home (in Leeds), The Chancery Restaurant (in London), architects and designers 3s (also in London), and lingerie company Simone Perele UK (in Surrey)—saw an increase in productivity and creativity of 42% and 33% respectively.
During a control period of four weeks, staff recorded how they were feeling throughout the working day, Lucre said.
Workers then spent a further month taking a minimum of one shower break a day, while filling in questionnaires rating among other criteria if they felt more productive or creative.
Sam Walsh, an employee at Home who participated in the study, said: “I found that showering gave me some peace and quiet, being away from the ringing phones in the office was great for mulling over ideas.
“As well as helping me get a fresh perspective on things, I also found it a great pick-me-up on the days when I felt tired.”
Employees generally felt that they had done a better job during the showering phase, with a 16% increase, and 23% felt they were in a better mood.
Nicholas Patterson, general manager of The Chancery, said: “Our hardworking staff members are on their feet for long shifts in what is a hot and hectic environment.
“Shower breaks made sure they took time away from the restaurant to refuel. And freshening up their feet with a shower also offered them physical benefits which made them work more effectively in the restaurant.”
Should these results become a mainstream aspect of modern business, employees will be singing in the shower AND whistling while they work. (Well, it’s healthier and more hygienic than a cigarette break, isn’t it?) And for those of you in industrial facilities, perhaps your emergency eye wash station will be the most popular spot on campus now (for an entirely different reason).