As the pandemic restrictions begin to lift in the UK, offices are starting to re-open. Office workers have adapted to remote working strategies, with many preferring a flexible approach to work these days. The reason why? Some office workers are actually concerned about the hygiene of their offices and colleagues.
After the pandemic, many of us have become more aware of germs and the importance of hygiene and sanitation. We wash our hands regularly, wear face coverings and even use anti-bac plastic packaging from grocery stores. However, pre-pandemic, many workers fostered a few bad habits that might unnerve their colleagues as they return to the office.
The printing company, instantprint, surveyed 1,000 UK employees to find out their opinion on workplace habits after the coronavirus pandemic. A whopping 45% of participants said they were now more aware of unhygienic workplace habits. In fact, nearly half of all the participants said washing your hands after going to the toilet should be made mandatory.
Bathrooms are covered in all kinds of bacteria, and it’s easy to catch norovirus from touching bathroom surfaces that are contaminated. Microbes and bacteria plague bathroom surfaces – many of which include drug-resistant strains. While you may not see anything on your hands after visiting the toilet, you could be covered in bacteria from touching door handles, toilet seats and other surfaces.
It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water to ensure they are properly cleaned. You should spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands and make sure you clean under your fingernails too.
37% of employees said coming into work with a cough or cold was also a bad habit; kiss greetings, hugs, and keeping an unwashed gym bag in the workplace closely followed. As employees return to the office, it seems our standards for hygiene have increased, and people are far more conscious of the germs around.
Furthermore, the study revealed that women are a little more hygienic and tend to be diligent with hand washing. However, 38.5% of men wanted to ban coming into work with a cough or cold – compared to only 36% of women. Women were also less keen to restrict physical contact in the workplace, including hugs, high-fives, handshakes, and fist bumps.
Over 40% of participants from Belfast wanted to ban hugs in the workplace and considered physical contact to be one of the worst workplace habits. Bristol, Cardiff, and Belfast were also against not washing your hands after going to the toilet. However, Glaswegians were the most opposed to colleagues’ coming into work with a cough or cold.
Every city and employee has their opinion on bad hygiene habits in the workplace. Office workers should respect their co-workers’ boundaries and adhere to government guidelines.