Make It Work: The Curious Case of the Office Shower

The trend in modern workplaces these days is to add the benefits of home slowly and insidiously, until it is such that you will never, ever need to leave.
Publish date:
January 29, 2015
hygiene, Office Shower, So Fresh And So Clean

Do you feel like you live at work? Do you spend more time there than you do your house, your car, your apartment, or the comfortable cave you’ve made out of pillows, Us Weekly magazines, and your laptop in your bed at home? Do you ever wish that your workplace took care of you in the same way you take care of yourself? If you work at some companies, you can do the one thing that should be left at home: taking a shower. The Wall Street Journal reports on the alarming micro-trend of the in-office shower, and I am here to tell you that this is a very, very bad idea.

I don’t think an office shower is the answer to really anything; although I suppose I understand the appeal. If you are the kind of person to go to the gym on your lunch break and/or sweat profusely during your commute in the summertime, then yes, I get it. It would be so very nice to take a shower when you want to, even if that time is at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday between meetings. But the awkwardness created by having your naked body in a space that is 100 percent shared by people you work with is not negligible. It is real. An office shower sounds like an HR nightmare, to be honest. What if you leave your towel just out of reach by accident, and have to ask your boss to hand it to you while you are shivering, nude, and wet, just beyond the curtain? What if someone else uses your towel because all the shower towels look the same, and Chelsea from the UX team just grabbed it because she thought it was hers? What if someone you work with somehow manages to see you naked? The risks are too high! Leave some things for home.

Work is where we do the stuff to make it so that we can do other things at home. You go to work, you make some money, and you come home to shower, or not shower, or take a bath, or clip your toenails while watching “Dance Moms” and talking to your mom on speakerphone. I know that life-work balance is kind of an impossible dream these days, when everyone wants to work and hustle and make and do, to keep up with the rat race, or to prove that they are actually a contributing member of society. But, it’s crucial to have it. You’d die, withering away staring into an Excel spreadsheet. That’s not a way to go.

The trend in modern workplaces these days is to add the benefits of home slowly and insidiously, until it is such that you will never, ever need to leave. It’s nice at first, but you know what? Work is a thing that you leave at the office. We take work home in the form of email on our phones and projects that unfortunately are not going to finish themselves. But bringing the creature comforts of home to live at your workplace? That’s the way to slowly brainwash you into thinking that 60 hour workweeks are acceptable and normal. Do not believe the hype. An office shower is a harbinger of doom.

Reprinted with permission from the Frisky. Want more? Check out these related stories:

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