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Huge cost of poor hygiene at work revealed

Mark Kelly

UK employees are falling ill due to their workplaces being dirty, according to new research. Contributor Mark Kelly, Marketing Manager –AppliancesDirect.co.uk

The survey of 1,012 UK workers, AppliancesDirect.co.uk, found that almost half (46 percent) believe that an unhygienic working environment has contributed to making them sick.

When quizzed on the reasons they felt their workplace has made them sick in the past, the majority said that they believed this was due to lack of general hygiene in their workplace (68 percent), while 62 percent said it was due to colleagues bringing sickness into the office.

With 46 percent of respondents claiming that they’ve had at least one day sick in the past year due to their unhygienic workplace, this would come at a cost of £1.56 billion to UK employers*.

When quizzed on the least hygienic parts of their working environment, a further 48 percent said it was due to their unhygienic desk phone, while a shocking 45 percent cited their dirty office kitchen as being the reason for them getting sick.

34 percent of workers said this was due to badly washed plates and mugs in the office kitchen and 28 percent said it was due to unsanitary bathrooms. A quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed said they feel that their dirty desk was the least hygienic part of their workplace, whilst for 18 percent, it was their keyboard.

A further 14 percent felt that colleagues leaving out of date food in a communal fridge has contributed to making them sick, and 11 percent of those surveyed felt it was because of pets in the office.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk, comments: “I was surprised from our findings just how much office sickness is costing UK businesses annually, with almost half of British workers blaming their workplace for at least one sick day in the past year.

“We carried out some research recently which found that the kitchen was the hub of the office, with 72 percent of UK workers saying this is the most used social space in the office, so it’s concerning to see that almost half of workers believe that this is a space that has made them ill in the past year due to lack of hygiene.

“It’s clear that it’s not just employers who need to keep communal spaces clean, but also that employees need to keep their personal workspaces hygienic to avoid illness from things like keyboards and desk phones.”

The top 10 reasons Britsh adults say their workplace has made them sick:

1. Lack of general hygiene – 68 percent

2. Colleagues bringing in sickness – 62 percent

3. Unhygienic desk phone – 48 percent

4. Dirty office kitchen – 45 percent

5. Badly washed plates and mugs in the office kitchen – 34 percent

6. Unsanitary bringing bathrooms – 28 percent

7. Dirty desk – 24 percent

8. Unhygienic keyboard – 18 percent

9. Colleagues leaving out of date food in a communal fridge – 14 percent

10. Office pets – 11 percent

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