Tackle the top unhygienic workplace habits


Tuesday 22 January 2019



Not washing their hands after going to the loo isn't the only disgusting habits our colleagues have - a recent survey conducted by a global hygiene company, SCA, examined 1,000 UK workers and their attitudes towards hygiene in the workplace.

The results revealed that almost two-thirds of Brits wished their place of work was cleaner and more hygienic, with only one-quarter of workers rating it as very hygienic.

According to an academic study carried out by Dr Lisa Ackerley, the Hygiene Doctor, the main cause of germs at the desk and keyboard is poor personal hygiene, with nearly 50 per cent of office workers responding to her survey admitting they do not wash their hands after going to the toilet. Bacteria and viruses that people bring back from the washroom multiply on the hard work surfaces of the desk and chair and remain infectious for 24 hours. There are a staggering 21,000 germs per square inch on chairs, desks and keyboards. In fact, the average office desk harbours 10 million bacteria. That's 100 times more germs than a kitchen table and 400 times more than the average toilet seat. Stats that are scary enough in themselves, but when you add the current 'hot-desking' culture to the mix, it becomes even more alarming.

Not washing their hands after going to the loo isn't the only disgusting habits our colleagues have; a recent survey conducted by a global hygiene company, SCA, examined 1,000 UK workers and their attitudes towards hygiene in the workplace. The results revealed that almost two-thirds of Brits wished their place of work was cleaner and more hygienic, with only one-quarter of workers rating it as very hygienic.

The worst habits included:
Sneezing without using a tissue - 42%
Leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen or sink - 36%
Not washing hands after using the bathroom - 36%
People not flushing the loo - 33%
Messy desks covered in rubbish - 23%
Not emptying full bins - 18%
Eating at a desk - 14%
Leaving empty toilet tissue rolls in the washroom - 14%
People not disposing of sanitary protection products properly - 13%
Biting nails - 12%

Whilst education on hygiene could help to combat some of the problems, employing the services of a contract cleaning company is paramount to maintaining a healthy working environment. When you consider the loss of revenue a bout of norovirus could cause, the excellent ROI of handing over the responsibility of keeping your premises clean and germ-free becomes much clearer.

Reminding staff to flush the toilet and wash their hands with strategically placed signage, having a clear desk policy and providing employees with breakout areas to eat their snacks and lunch are all simple, yet proactive ways to tackle poor hygiene. Perhaps even a 'tidiest team' competition with a prize awarded monthly. Some habits are difficult to challenge, such as nail-biting and sneezing without a tissue, but could be mentioned in hygiene training sessions and damage limitation increased through a good cleaning regime.

Leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen or sink is often resolved through a washing-up rota, with a dash of peer pressure to ensure everyone takes their turn.

If you are looking to reduce hygiene related staff sickness absences and improve the cleanliness of your business premises, contact us on01223 438118 for more details of our contract cleaning services and one-off deep cleans.



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