How clean and hygienic do you think your workplace is? The office has people working, eating and spreading germs around it for approximately 10 hours each day – possibly longer if there are different shifts. Even if you have a professional cleaning team, they will most likely only clean the bathrooms, floors and kitchen break area. So how important is office hygiene? Let’s take a look at some lesser-known facts to reveal the truth.
The average work desk is 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat
A shocking statistic from Dettol, which proves the extent of the hygiene issue in many workplaces. Not only is a dirty desk a harbour for viruses and bacteria, but with 2/3 of UK office workers eating at their desks staff are making the problem worse.
50% of office workers don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet
A recent survey mentioned in the Daily Mail revealed that half of all workers admitted to not washing their hands after going to the toilet. This means that regardless of how clean the bathroom and office space is, many people are spreading germs and bacteria which could make people ill. It’s important to educate staff about handwashing procedures – everyone has a responsibility.
20% of workers never clean their mouse
The most important surfaces to keep clean are those which come into contact with hands – so keyboards and mice are a top priority. However, the same article confirms many employees don’t bother to clean their mouse – or clean it too infrequently – to stop infections from spreading. This could be a particular problem in a hot-desking environment.
Poor office hygiene costing the UK £13.7 billion in sick days
Poor hygiene standards mean that when one person in the office becomes ill, it quickly spreads. Bugs and viruses such as flu and norovirus can be passed on when people don’t wash their hands and touch communal surfaces such as door handles. The cost of the sick days which result from this and the productivity lost while at work ill adds up to £13.7bn wasted according to a report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
80% of infections spread through contaminated surfaces
Many people think that coughing and sneezing are the main causes of spreading germs. While it is important to cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing, the majority of illnesses are actually passed on through contaminated surfaces people have touched – such as keyboards, door handles, soap dispensers, photocopier buttons etc. Bacteria can live on these surfaces for hours and hours, infecting lots of people.
Improving office hygiene is about keeping your workforce healthy and at work – which is always good for business.