Eeugh. It’s a miracle we get through a day at the office. For desks, keyboards, toilets – and most of all colleagues – are just biohazards.
According to a new survey by Staples, 21% of workers believe they inhabit an unhealthy office – but that doesn’t stop 72% plonking down a Pret next to their contaminated computer.
Keyboards are often cited as being dirtier than a toilet, meaning that if you eat while typing you could be exposing yourself to harmful bacteria. Germs like E.coli, Pseudomonas and MRSA can all be found in the workplace.
Of the genders, females are the biggest desk-eating culprits, with 74% of women eating at their desks compared to 68% of men.
And that guy across the way who’s been sneezing all day, coughing in your direction. He’s one of the 31% of us who admit going to work with an infectious illness because that’s where the bulging in-tray is.
The majority (61%) of workers who came in while sick cited having “too much work” as the main reason for doing this. Others said it was because they weren’t able to work remotely (28%).
Shake hands after a meeting? The survey found that one in seven workers don’t use soap when they have used the toilet, and one in 50 don’t wash their hands at all.
According to the data, men are less likely than women to wash their hands or use soap, despite the severe risks posed by non-washing.
Staples’ head of HR Monica Mauri said: “What we’re seeing is a worrying number of workers who feel the need to come into the office when sick. Employers need to make employees aware of the importance of staying home when ill, especially when it’s infectious.”