Poor hygiene puts off a third of all staff from returning to the office - OfficeCare

Poor hygiene puts off a third of all staff from returning to the office

20th September 2022

Research from OSCFM (Office Space Cleaning Facilities Management) has revealed that some of the biggest complaints amongst workers in the UK is about the cleanliness of their offices.

Whilst concerns about COVID have been blamed for hesitancy from some workers to return to office working, this latest research suggests that poor basic hygiene could be preventing over a third (36%) from returning.

The findings of OSCFM’s survey highlighted that the most frustrating issues were food-related uncleanliness rather than any COVID-related anxiety.

More than a third of all respondents (34%) identified desks and workstations as the untidiest areas of the office, with kitchens and washrooms tying for the second (27%).

Scott Howard, Head of Sales at Office Care, commented: “The results from this research reflected our own experiences, which show that desks are often far dirtier than even the average toilet seat.”

The top five workplace hygiene concerns are:

  • Leaving the microwave dirty from food (56.72%)|
  • Used plates and cutlery left at desks (54.62%)
  • Dirty cups and mugs left at desks (40.34%)
  • Leaving food on worksurfaces/desks (40.34%)
  • Dusty or dirty workstations (38.4%)

Respondents of the survey highlighted that male colleagues were the greatest offenders (17%), senior management (12%), full-time office workers (10%), junior team members (9%) and female colleagues least likely to offend (4%).

While more than half of the respondents are frustrated by colleague cleanliness, the majority of people surveyed (59%) said that they had not raised workplace hygiene as an issue with either co-workers or company management.

Scott Howard said: “This research tells us that most businesses and organisations should re-examine their approach to cleaning if they want all staff to return to working full time in an office or workplace environment.”

“The importance of a clean workplace should not be under estimated. It not only creates a professional atmosphere that makes a huge difference to staff morale, helps reduce sickness levels and increases productivity,” added Scott.

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