What Do Workers Want?

Less Gossip, Easy-Going Bosses and Clean Restrooms...

The top three problems that office workers would like to see eliminated in the future are gossip, difficult bosses and dirty restrooms.

Other pet peeves that employees would like to see less of, in order of importance, were too hot or too cold offices, noise, speakerphones, and odors. These findings are from a national survey released June 21st of 725 full- and part-time white-collar office workers, including business owners, managerial employees, sales and clerical workers. Opinion Research Corporation International on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Corporation's Away From Home Sector conducted the survey.

Germ Concerns Rank High:

The subject of germs clearly struck a chord with the majority of workers surveyed. More than half cited dirty restrooms as the top restroom problem to eliminate by the year 2000, and 57 percent said a germ-free restroom was the one innovation they would most like to see in the restroom of the future. The germ-free restroom trounced other proposed restroom innovations. Other requests included all-in-one bathrooms with toilet and sink in a private area (11%), telephones, stereos and LCD panels with 24-hour news (7%), free amenities like perfume or cologne, hand lotion, deodorant or hair spray (5%), private rest areas with comfortable seating (4%), and showers, steam rooms and saunas (2%).

Further underscoring the public's germ sensitivities, 57 percent of respondents selected a totally touch-less restroom as the hygienic improvement they would most want to find in washrooms in the future.

On-Site Daycare and the Virtual Office Top Wish Lists

When asked what they would like to see more of in the office of the future, over half the respondents chose on-site services, such as day care (27%), fitness centers (10%), concierge or on-site services such as banking and dry cleaners (8%), on-site medical care (6%), and coffee bars (2%). However, 18 percent of those surveyed voted for virtual offices -- off-site work environments that are anywhere people can work, with transportable office equipment.

And in this age of new technologies, with so many forms of electronic communication available to us, it may come as no surprise to learn that there are some places where office workers don't want to be "networked." When asked if they would like better access to information in the restroom of the future, through devices such as portable computers with e-mail capabilities, LCD panels with 24-hour news and telephones, 64 percent of the office workers surveyed just said "no".

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