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Only 61% of UK office workers wash their hands after going to the toilet

04 February 2019

UK office cleaning company SMC Premier surveyed over 5,000 UK office workers about their hygiene habits at work. The results revealed a disturbing statistic that only 61% of respondents wash their hands properly with warm water and soap after going to the toilet.

18% will do a quick hand wash, 14% occasionally wash their hands, and 7% admitted to not washing their hands at all.

Survey data also uncovered that women are more hygienic than men after using the toilet with 66% happily washing their hands after a visit to the bathroom, compared to 53% of men.

When comparing the age groups, 11% of the younger generation (18-24-year olds) confessed to not washing their hands after the toilet, making this statistic above the overall average of 7%. 

77% of respondents think that it is highly unhygienic to have a dog in the office. This statistic was significantly higher amongst the over 65’s with 85%.

2% of employees with a dog in the office have considered leaving their job to be in a dog-free environment.  

Eating at your desk isn’t uncommon especially for 26% of office workers who remain at their desk to eat at least 1-3 times per week. 

On average, around half of 18-64-year olds will move away from their desk to eat, leaving the other half to remain seated occasionally. 

Despite the popularity of eating at your desk, only 11% of workers will clean theirs properly. 38% will do a ‘quick clean’ – put snack wrappers in the bin or empty the crumbs from their keyboard, while 45% are spotless eaters and never need to clean up after. However, there is still 7% of employees who will leave it to someone else to clean.

The survey exposed people’s opinions around hot-desking, and 6% of those asked were under the impression that all shared desks were cleaned after use. 12% of respondents who regularly hot desk will only work on the desk if they know it’s been cleaned first. 38% share a strong opinion that communal desks are germ-infested because you never know who’s been sat there.

When it comes to who is responsible for the cleanliness of the office, 6% revealed that it should be left to the cleaner as it’s not their problem. For 56% of respondents, they admitted to helping clean up as it would eventually annoy them, and 38% confessed that they reluctantly clean if they had to.