After President Gore’s riveting PowerPoint on the effects of global warming last year, many companies have decided to hop on the “green” bandwagon implementing such office-wide initiatives as a “turn-off the lights” campaign, compost recycling in the lunchroom (more on this later) and discouraging printing or copying of any kind. However, one of the most popular and most aggressive ways in which modern offices encourage “green” living is by building private showers into their office space.
I’m baffled by this for several reasons:
Who exactly uses an office shower?
Presumably office showers are there for bicycle commuters who work up a sweat on their way to work in the mornings. And that’s great, since no one wants to sit in a meeting for hours with someone who smells like a gym locker room and wet spandex. However, this then begs the question, who actually commutes by bicycle to the office?
My company recently moved to a new office location (at the bottom of several very steep hills) and actually spent the money to construct two shower units in the office space.
I have not seen it occupied once since we moved in.
How hygienic are these things anyway?
Public showers are notorious for being dirty and spreading germs and scary fungi. Why? Because no one has the personal responsibility of cleaning them out on a regular basis. One might assume that the office janitorial staff would do that work, but this is not always the case.
I once worked in an office where the janitorial staff was contracted to clean everything except the kitchen/lunchroom. This made for some very sticky mornings when someone had spilled something the day before and snuck out without cleaning it up. So if by chance you are actually considering using your office shower, you might want to confirm that someone cleans it regularly. Otherwise, I highly recommend rubber flip-flops.
What about personal privacy?
Call me a prude, but the thought of stripping down to my birthday suit at the office, even behind closed (and locked) doors makes me a little uncomfortable. Knowing that there’s even a remote chance that my boss or that creepy guy in the IT department could burst in at any moment is enough to keep me high and dry at the office.
While I personally have never used an office shower, I’m curious to hear about other people’s experiences using theirs. Have you used one? Has your experience been positive or negative?
Feel free to share your story and add a comment below.