Workers: Cleaner Offices Make for Higher Productivity

October 13, 2004 ( - Not surprisingly, a majority of American workers see a connection between a clean workplace and the number of times workers call in sick to the office.

Sixty-four percent of workers make this connection, citing longer work hours with no increase in cleaning services as a prime factor that leads to workplace conditions that are unsanitary, according to a survey by ServiceMaster Clean, a janitorial services provider.

The survey found that 85% of workers eat in the office space and that 33% clip their nails there. Twenty-two percent claim to see co-workers cough, sneeze or yawn without covering their mouths, and almost half of workers have seen someone not wash their hands after using the washroom.

Although the survey found a high number of people thought about cleanliness at work (85%), only 40% have ‘a lot of confidence’ in their workplace’s cleanliness. Almost 80% said they got sick each year from co-workers. Almost 70% thought that a clean office made for more productive employees.

Men and women view things differently, however. Men clean their offices less (75%, compared to 91% for women), but are more likely to witness unsanitary behavior (52% to 38%).

ServiceMaster Clean ( ) is a restoration and cleaning company, with over 4,000 franchises worldwide. It has over 10.5 million residential and commercial customers.