Australian businesses are suffering due to poor office hygiene – a shocking 1 in 6 office workers fall ill and cost up to $800 million in lost wages each year from sick days.
A survey from Initial Hygiene found that 50 per cent of workers believe concerns over office hygiene have affected their productivity, while 40 per cent are concerned they might get sick.
Natalie Howard of Initial Hygiene said Australian businesses aren’t making hygiene a priority.
“Substandard office hygiene reflects poorly on a business, increasing absenteeism and lowering productivity,” Howard said.
Productivity is being affected as employees spend time attending to their personal hygiene and personal space, the hygiene of communal office spaces, and being distracted from work by thinking about the unhygienic behaviours of others.
What are those unhygienic behaviours? According to the survey, 1 in 3 employees admitted they don’t wash their hands every time they visit the bathroom. In turn, 76 per cent of employees worry about others not washing their hands.
While more than a third of employees said their overall job satisfaction would be improved by better office hygiene, it doesn’t just have an effect on current employees. Over 70 per cent of office workers said they would hesitate in recommending an employer with substandard hygiene to others.
Businesses should be incorporating proper office hygiene into their overall health and safety measures to ensure employees are safe from the spread of germs.
“There are lots of things employers can do to improve office hygiene, like installing hand soaps and sanitisers, toilet seat cleaners, and paper towel dispensers to help reduce the cross contamination within the office,” Howard said.