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Survey: Laundry Managers Report Job Causes at Least ‘Moderate’ Stress

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Managing or overseeing an institutional, commercial or industrial laundry causes at least moderate stress, according to more than three-quarters of respondents to this month’s American Laundry News Wire survey. And their stressors range from a co-worker or customer/end-user to any number of other variables, including the nature of their job and/or the volume of work.

The stress felt by most of this month’s survey-takers is either “Moderate” (47.1%), “Low” (29.4%) or “Serious” (23.5%). No one deemed their stress to be “Extreme.”

For about one in five respondents, their job stress is chiefly caused by their relationship with another person they work with. The same holds true for respondents who say a customer or end-user causes their job stress.

Aside from these troublesome relationships, the nature of their job and its responsibilities causes stress for nearly 40% of respondents, followed closely by workload (30.8%). Condition of equipment (23.1%), lack of resources (15.4%), fear of service being outsourced/losing account (15.4%), the physical work environment (7.7%) and personal health issues (7.7%) were also cited. (Respondents could check as many options as applied and/or an “Other” option.)

Nearly half of the respondents did select “Other,” describing stressors that include family issues, the U.S. economy, communication issues, expectations by upper management, and the quality of finished linen being received from a commercial laundry.

Roughly 41% say they feel job stress even when they’re away from their workplace, and approximately 35% say their stress level previously has reached a point where they considered looking for another job or possibly even another line of work.

But for all the negatives this survey may have generated, virtually every respondent said their job has positive aspects. Helping others, working with people, and creating customer satisfaction were just some of the positives they shared.

“I get to do what I love every day,” wrote one respondent. “I have an incredible opportunity to coach and grow the leaders and managers of our company.”

“Rewarding to work with people with disabilities,” wrote another. “When the going is good, it feels really good.”

Respondents ranged in rank from laundry managers and directors of housekeeping/laundry to general managers and plant owners.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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