Most of us have used something other than our bare hands to open the bathroom door at some point in our lives; whether it be because the hand drier hasn’t worked properly of you’ve just witnessed someone leave the bathroom without washing their hands.

Recent research which has been commissioned by Kimberly-Clark Professional has shown that two in five employees use other body parts to exit the bathroom door to avoid coming into contact with their colleagues germs from the door handle.

A Workforce Consisting of Contortionists

The research, which was conducted by questioning 303 office workers from across England, found that many people opted to use other body parts to open the door to exit the bathroom rather than their hands.

57% of the workers questioned were found to prefer to use their elbows, while 29% preferred to use a single finger or a foot. It doesn’t end there either- other participants admitted to using other body parts such as their shoulders knees and bottoms.

Young beautiful woman is having stomach ache. Isolated on white.

Concern for Employee Health

It’s pretty clear that the results show that the majority of employees feel as though they are more exposed to germs in their workplace toilet than in their own home.

Around 56% of the participants reported that they were worried that other employees didn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom and 72% believed that they could become ill if their colleagues didn’t wash their hands routinely.

When asked where they thought germs were most likely to be located, 78% said the office toilets with 69% stating the toilet door specifically.

Hands on yellow gloves cleaning a WC

How Can This Be Tackled?

So, how is it possible to encourage more people to wash their hands after using the toilet?

Rather than taking your employees back to school and educating them on the importance of washing their hands after using the loo, Kimberly-Clark Professional recommends that carefully positioning personal hygiene products around the bathrooms and office spaces will encourage more people to wash and clean their hands while at work.

Ensure that all dispensers are well stocked up and that your bathrooms are clean to keep your employees happy in the workplace- further research has found that 73% of business people believe that a bad toilet environment reflects poor overall management.

It may also be worth looking at ways in which you could design your office to further encourage your employees to practice good hygiene while in the workplace. For example, you could make the facilities for washing your hands more eye catching and harder to miss so that people are reminded every time they go to leave the bathroom.

At Officescape, we specialise in adapting and creating attractive and functional office spaces for your business. From office refurbishment to furniture design, we have a service suited for your needs when it comes to office design. For more information on our services, contact us today on 01553 811833 and have a chat to a member of our friendly team.

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