Cleanliness equals productivity

15th of September 2017
Cleanliness equals productivity

VSR chairman Jacco Vonhof, ECJ’s Dutch correspondent, brings news of research indicating that the level of office cleanliness directly impacts on employees’ productivity.

Not only does the standard of cleaning impact productivity, it also contributes to the general satisfaction of employees. Employees are more satisfied when their office is clean.

In other words, when the environment is technically clean, productivity and work satisfaction are higher. And work satisfaction again leads to increased productivity, according to the same research.

Not only did VSR (Association for Cleaning Research) investigate the effect of the cleaning standard measured. We also looked at the employees’ opinion on the cleaning standard in relation to the way they judged their own productivity. We did not ascertain that link. Moreover, this perceived cleaning standard did not affect the overall work satisfaction.

The findings are, nevertheless, good news for the cleaning industry. The scope of their product seems to reach far beyond a clean space and interior. As a cleaning partner, you are able to contribute to your client’s employee satisfaction. This means cleaning should not only be considered
as an expense but as a service which adds value to a company’s core process.

The extensive survey also included a number of individual characteristics such as gender, education level, number of working hours per week and position. In addition to the general conclusions, this allowed us to discover a few variables:

• The more hours employees worked per week, the higher their perceived productivity
• Employees with a high level of education scored higher in terms of work satisfaction
• Women were more picky about cleanliness than men
• Everyone agreed that social interaction has a positive effect on satisfaction.

Another Dutch study conducted at Wageningen University (1999) also found a causal link between the standard of cleaning and productivity. Our study shows that it is still relevant to know whether a clean working environment leads to increased productivity. These current findings, once
again, highlight the importance of a clean environment.

About the research

Mirte Horrevorts conducted the research on behalf of VSR, to conclude her Master Management, Economics and Consumer Studies at Wageningen University. Horrevorts conducted her research in office environments of non-commercial organisations such as schools and care institutions. She surveyed 120 employees in early 2016.


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