World Toilet Day, a UN awareness day highlighting the importance of access to clean and safe toilets around the world, saw Initial Washroom Hygiene publish research that explores the toilet habits of modern workers, and the increasing need for UK employers to make them a safe and hygienic space for employees.
According to the research, the average office worker spends 13.5 minutes in the washroom each day, totaling 53 hours over the course of a year, and a third use the washroom as a place to escape work because they don’t have enough space in the office. Almost two in five office workers (39%) believe the washroom is a good place to get peace and quiet, and 41% of office workers say their employer needs to improve their washroom hygiene standards.
Another Initial Washroom Hygiene study of 1000 office workers revealed that washroom standards leave a lot to be desired:
· 45% have been shocked by the state of their office washroom.
· 42% worry about going to the washroom at work.
· 21% have found faeces outside of the toilet bowl in the office washroom.
· More than a third of female office workers (39%) have encountered an overflowing sanitary bin.
Dr Colm Moore, area technical manager for Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: “The trend for office workers to use the washroom as a break out space poses a potential hygiene risk for employers. Washrooms are designed for a specific purpose and require regular cleaning to ensure they remain safe and hygienic. If more people are using washrooms and staying in them for longer periods, employers and facilities managers need to ensure their cleaning regime is increased appropriately to reflect this. As offices become more densely populated, the potential risk of cross contamination is increased, as the reduced space makes the transfer of germs more likely. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to mitigate the risk of spreading germs within an office environment. It is therefore vital for employers to ensure they have the right facilities in place to promote good hand hygiene across the company.”