Now that companies are slowly seeing a return to the office, it means someone has the responsibility of taking care of the physical office and the emotional needs of the employees. As most offices should, there are individuals to clean the space once employees leave for the night, but there is much more going on behind the scenes that no one is talking about; office housework.
If you are not familiar with the term, office housework refers to the leftover work and chores that need to be done that get neglected. Office housework often goes unseen and under-rewarded. It can be nearly anything from tidying up the office space, the organization of a document, or even meeting the emotional support needs of your team.
Whether you are in-person or remote, there is always someone picking up office housework. The most significant issue with office housework is the lack of acknowledgment and reward for picking up the slack. Individuals that keep up behind the scenes are nearly ever compensated for the extra work they provide.
In a recent study, the findings are that women are 60% more likely to offer emotional support to their team compared to men. Not only is there still a stigma that women are to overextend themselves to both physically and emotionally support their counterparts throughout their personal life, but it translates to the workplace.
Out of 65,000 participants, only 25% of managers in the survey said they formally recognize those that take on office housework in reviews and in terms of compensation. On the flip side, 86% of participants said it is critical for companies to have individuals take on those tasks.
Here are just a few examples of office housework:
- Organizing documents
- Emptying the office dishwasher
- Getting in touch with customer support lines when there is an in-office issue
- Emotionally counseling coworkers
- Offering personal advice to coworkers
- Routine system maintenance
- Mail merges
- Getting coffee/snacks for the office
- Placing furniture back after a meeting
The types of office housework are endless, and if you are the “it” person for your company, make sure you are rewarded for completing these tasks. If there is little to no recognition for your extra work, we recommend you take a step back until appreciation and acknowledgment.