While we all know that dirty workplaces are breeding grounds for bacteria and bugs that can cause the workforce to fall ill, it’s amazing how many offices are still surprisingly unhygienic.
Almost everyone will recognise these common workplace problems – the communal sink, full of dirty dishes, computer keyboards, covered in sandwich crumbs, or colleagues coughing and spluttering away without a tissue in sight. It’s no wonder that recent research carried out by leading hygiene products company SCA revealed that almost two thirds of workers in the UK wished that their workplace was more hygienic.
Educating The Workforce
Despite the shocking figures, only 16% of employers actually offer their workforce education and training on the subject of workplace hygiene, so it isn’t surprising that 20% of employees wish that more information had been offered to them by the company that they work for.
With more than 10% of people believing that the poor hygiene standards in their workplace had impacted on their health in some way, it’s clear to see that more education in this area could indeed be useful. Businesses in today’s tough financial climate can’t afford to have employees taking time off work due to illnesses caused by low levels of hygiene in the office, and with 40% of people having taken up to 7 days off work over the course of just one month because of illnesses caused by substandard workplace hygiene, the need for action is obvious. A third of workers have experienced diarrhoea, 15% suffered from food poisoning, while 10% have developed a skin problem while at work, and even more worryingly, these illnesses aren’t restricted solely to the employees themselves, with almost 50% having passed on their workplace acquired illness to a friend or family member.
Top Causes Of Poor Hygiene At Work
Women are more likely than men to carry out cleaning at work, and just under half of men involved in the research had no interest in aspiring to a more hygienic workplace. Less than 50% of male workers admitted to attempting to improve standards of cleanliness in the office, which may well have led to 10% of women actually considering looking for another job solely because of concerns over the lack of hygiene in their working environment.
Over 25% of workers in the UK find that their colleagues have some seriously unhygienic habits, and here are the top ten that cause concerns in workplaces up and down the country:
- Biting nails at work – 12%
- Failing to properly dispose of female sanitary products – 13%
- Leaving empty toilet rolls in the bathroom – 14%
- Eating at the desks – 14%
- Allowing bins to overflow with rubbish – 18%
- Leaving rubbish on the desks – 23%
- Not flushing the toilet – 33%
- Failing to wash hands after going to the toilet – 36%
- Leaving used dirty dishes in the sink – 36%
- Sneezing without a tissue – 42%
Hygiene is essential in any workplace, and putting an action plan in place to ensure that all employees know what is expected of them in terms of cleanliness and hygiene is vital. Keeping the office clean and tidy is a key part of workplace hygiene, and hiring a professional cleaning company is one of the best ways to ensure that communal spaces such as kitchens and break rooms as well as bathroom areas are spotless to prevent illnesses from spreading.