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The shocking handwashing habits of British office workers revealed

Cleanology, a leading London commercial cleaning company asked British office workers across the UK about their handwashing habits. The study, which aimed to shed light on hygiene practices in the workplace, revealed some shocking results about how often office workers wash their hands, touchpoints and which ages and industries are lacking hygiene harmony.

Handwashing. It’s an inevitable part of everyday life. It’s the best way to protect yourself and the people around you from getting sick.

With the global pandemic just behind us, washing our hands should be at the forefront of all of our minds after every bathroom use, after touching something dirty and before and after preparing food or eating. But unfortunately, this is not the case for all Brits.

A staggering 13 per cent of British office workers admit they ‘only’ wash their hands after answering nature’s call. With an additional three per cent of Brits confessing to ‘hardly ever’ washing their hands, asserting they ‘don’t need to’.

While these percentages may seem small when extrapolated to the 32.8 million people across the UK in employment, it unveils a concerning reality – that’s over 984,000 dirty Brits contaminating our shared workspaces with their bathroom germs.

Brits are washing their hands 50 per cent less than recommended 

According to experts, we should aim to wash our hands between six and 10 times a day, this can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping bacteria and viruses at bay. According to Cleanology’s survey, 39 per cent of UK office workers only wash their hands between three and five times a day.

With these stats in mind, nearly 40 per cent of office workers should be doubling how much they wash their hands. Germs are spread so easily in the office, whether it be through door handles, desk spaces, chairs or even cutlery, ensuring office spaces are cleaned and sanitised is more important than ever.

Love it or hate it, hot desking is here to stay. With more than half of British office workers taking part in hotdesking when visiting the office, this adds another reason as to why sanitisation is key. Nobody wants to use a mucky mouse after someone in the three per cent mentioned earlier has spent the previous day clicking and contaminating away, yuck!

Age + Industry: Who are the culprits? 

If you’re looking around your office space and wondering, who are the culprits? Who are the people who aren’t washing their hands after using the loo?

Is it the accounts person who has worked at your company for decades, or is it the new sales intern who started last week? Research indicates that the primary contributors to inadequate handwashing are individuals aged 45-54, with office workers in the 35-44 age range closely following.

Cleanology’s survey also uncovered which industries are lacking in keeping their palms pristine. The survey revealed that the real estate and property industry are the top contenders for adequate handwashing with 37.5 per cent of real estate workers washing their hands less than five times a day. Not far behind, the tech-savvy computer software industry reveals that 24 per cent of its workforce inadequately washing their hands.

Maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation of commercial office spaces is not merely a matter of aesthetics, it’s a strategic imperative. A clean space contributes to heightened productivity, as well as this cleaning also improves the air quality, reducing the number of airborne pollutants and the spread of germs.


About Sarah OBeirne

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