Most people would probably like to think they have relatively high standards when it comes to personal hygiene. Particularly when it comes to office cleaning and workplace hygiene in general, few would admit to any real shortcomings.
Unfortunately, the results of a new study carried out in the United States would seem to suggest otherwise. Specifically, the rather alarming 5% of adults involved in the study were found to thoroughly and completely wash their hands every time they visit the bathroom.
The study was carried out by researchers from Michigan State University. Rather than simply relying on honesty, the team instead observed the behaviour of nearly 4000 individuals. Data was collected as to their washroom hygiene habits in public places – including those applicable to the workplace.
Of course, it goes without saying that personal health and hygiene are supposed to play a critical role in wider office cleaning responsibilities and standards. After all, even the most outstanding office cleaning is relatively redundant, if those within the workplace are not watching over their own everyday hygiene.
According to the results of the study, approximately 20% of people don’t bother to use soap when washing their hands after using a public bathroom. In addition, 10% simply don’t bother washing their hands at all. But it was the fact that a full 95% of people didn’t wash their hands for the full 15 seconds recommended by health authorities that came as the biggest surprise.
Which suggests that even when hands are washed after visiting a public bathroom, almost nobody washes their hands as intensively as they perhaps should.
Interestingly, the study also brought to light something of a split in terms of the different habits between men and women. For example, it was noted that approximately 50% of the men observed used soap, while around 15% bypassed the sinks entirely and didn’t wash their hands at all. Not the kind of thing that bodes well for office cleaning and hygiene, given the number of objects and people alike which then go on to be touched.
As for women, 78% of those observed used soap, which was of course more reassuring than the performance noted with their male counterparts. Nevertheless, a worrying 7% were found not to bother washing their hands at all.
On the whole, it was noted that the average amount of time spent washing hands after using a public bathroom came out or just 6 seconds. Which as far as experts are concerned is not nearly long enough to properly clean and rid the hands of the kinds of bacteria that pose a serious threat to human health.
A Simple Solution
To look at the data, it becomes immediately clear that the problem is epidemic in nature. Nevertheless, there’s a relatively simple solution that can be incorporated into any wider office cleaning and hygiene regime.
Evidence would seem to suggest that in instances where men and women alike are reminded of the importance of proper hand washing, they are considerably more likely to do exactly that. For example, creating an office culture of hygiene awareness and hygiene standards is to take a step in the right direction. It’s when these kinds of things go overlooked and ignored that problems remain.
Every member of the workforce plays an important role in office cleaning and hygiene standards. It’s just that many often forget this is the case. Or perhaps, try to pretend it isn’t the case at all. Where standards are allowed to slip, poor hygiene often takes its toll on employee health. Which is unfortunate, given how simple the solution is.
Office Cleaning Checklists
Simply by creating and displaying office cleaning and hygiene checklists, it becomes easy to remind everyone of their responsibilities. Once again, simply creating awareness of the importance of workplace hygiene can make a big difference. Plus it’s simply a case of instilling good habits in the first place, which soon become second nature.
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