Housekeeping By DesignHotels and Labor

Housekeeping By DesignHotels and Labor

David Brody

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226389097

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


In this book, author David Brody asserts that hotel workers, and by extension all workers, need to be considered as more than just facilitators of the consumer experience and need to be integrated into the design process. Brody describes how service workers’ labor can make or break a guest’s stay at a hotel, but when management disregards employees’ needs, the ramifications on individual workers’ lives and bodies can become catastrophic and the impact on business can lead to unintended disadvantages. Brody argues that if hotel service employees had more say about design, the industry would change for the better, instances of labor strife would be less frequent, the physical consequences of hotel work would be less harmful, and hotels would become even more cost effective for their owners. To further this argument, Brody incorporates elements of theory, historical sources, examples from hotel management pedagogy, instances of hotels implementing sustainability practices, and portrayals of hotels in popular culture, as well as his own interviews with housekeeping workers at the Hyatt Regency Chicago and at various Starwood properties in Hawaii. Brody explores the many ways in which hotel service workers are often overlooked or overshadowed, especially in terms of design and management decisions. In this examination of the hidden world of hotel service work, Brody sheds light on wide-reaching issues and offers co-design as a potential solution.