Kitchen karma

The harmonious shared kitchen is a rare concept. Whether you share with five or 5000 other employees, the office kitchen generally leaves a lot to be desired. Shared facilities, concerns over cleanliness and stacks of dirty dishes can make assembling your lunch or brewing up for the team a repulsive task. In addition, petty food theft and passive-aggressive notes can cause serious inter-office rivalry.

We worked with our client and commercial white goods manufacturer, the Professional Division of Miele, to turn these common office problems into a compelling research story to promote the launch of their ProfiLine dishwasher; a range highly suited to office kitchens due it its speedy cycles and faster drying times.

The survey of 500 UK office workers revealed that dirty work kitchens are causing workplace rifts and disrupting performance, and 9 out of 10 workers said they wanted improved facilities. Perhaps unsurprisingly, unwashed dishes are the most common kitchen bugbear, and 44% said that their colleagues’ dishwashing abilities are well below par.

However, if there’s one thing the UK’s office workers don’t shy away from, it’s making their annoyance known! Over three quarters of those surveyed said they’d hang a sign in the kitchen (we’ve all seen the hilarious examples online), yet slightly less would take a less direct approach; 55% admitted they would report a culprit to management and 41% said they would ‘out’ them to colleagues. However, Miele’s research also highlighted the more serious implications an unsatisfactory kitchen can have for businesses, as over half of respondents said they would turn a job down if facilities were inadequate.

Whether you get to enjoy the luxury of an office dishwasher or make do with a sponge, washing up liquid and tea towels, the office kitchen could certainly be a more pleasant environment. The lesson? Think twice before you leave your pots on the draining board or steal a drop of Sharon’s milk – she will be watching.

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