Tuesday, 19 May 2009

I Feel Dirty

It is being reported in today's Daily Telegraph that taking a shower during the day helps employees become more productive. The report states that there was a 42% increase in productivity and a 33% increase in creativity. Unfortunately, the original report, by a PR firm called Lucre, does not appear to be on the Internet so one can only speculate on how one measures an improvement in creativity. I wouldn't know where to begin. However, when it comes to productivity I expect that a measure would be along the lines of produced so many Xs in Y hours, the change in the value of X giving a value of the change in productivity. The problem is that the four businesses involved in the study are not easy ones in which to measure productivity.
Three of them, an advertising agency in Leeds called Horne, a company of designers called 3s in London and a company of lingerie designers called Simone Perele in Surrey all suffer from the problem of what product is it that one might one measure?
The fourth place is a restaurant called The Chancery in London. I suppose that the number of meals produced per hour or the average time taken to produce a meal would be a good start. Great care would have to be taken that all other factors such as the number of customers, the type of meal ordered and how many people were working in the kitchen were taken into account.
So, without further information, I feel that the above statistics are dubious to say the least. This is exacerbated by the later statement that "Employees generally felt that they had done a better job during the showering phase, with a 16 per cent increase". A 16% increase in what?
Thus, one concludes, that this is all a PR exercise but PR for whom? All is revealed in the last line of the report which states "The survey was conducted by Lucre for their client Mira Showers". Nuff said.

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