£1.56bn – the amount of money filthy workplaces cost UK bosses each year

Poor hygiene, sick colleagues and dirty dishes are among the top ten reasons why employees are getting ill at work, claims a new study

£1.56bn – the amount of money filthy workplaces cost UK bosses each year

Sanitation is something that should have been taught from a young age but what effect does it have when peers bring poor hygiene into the workplace? According to household appliance e-tailer AppliancesDirect.co.uk’s new study, a large majority of British workers suggest a lack of general cleanliness in their work environment affected their health.

In the survey of 1,012 UK employees, it was discovered that 46% of British employees suspected an unhygienic workplace was a key determining factor in making them ill. With the same percentage of employees stating to have had at least one day off sick in the past year, the statistics show it would cost UK employers £1.56bn.

When questioned about the reasons behind their sickness, a majority of 68% claimed it was the absence of general hygiene in their work surroundings. Furthermore, 62% pointed the finger at their peers for coming in with illnesses while 48% blamed unhygienic desk phones as the route cause.

Apparently though, certain areas of the office are breeding grounds for picking up germs. 45% of respondents said they have a dirty office kitchen, which resulted in 34% claiming badly washed crockery was at fault for them coming down sick, with plates and mugs full of filth. Then, perhaps unsurprisingly, 28% also complained of contaminated bathrooms.

Rounding off the top ten, 24% said they’d been made ill by a dirty desk, 18% by scummy keyboards, 14% from off food in the fridge and 11% felt it was office pets that were responsible for taking them out of action. Perhaps pawternity leave wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all, based on the latter.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk, said: “It’s clear 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.”

While the working environment is prone to bacteria, it’s evident that bosses and staff alike need to take more pride in maintaining the cleanliness of their workspace.

Fahima Begum
Fahima Begum

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