Offices need to implement new, proactive hygiene solutions in line with changing trends, says Essity in their latest White Paper.
The document, which uses data from the global Essity Hygiene & Health Report 2018-2019, plus insights from the Tork Office Trend Report, reveals that 73% of UK offices are now open plan.
Essity’s Stuart Hands said: “While open concept offices have several advantages in a collaborative environment, they require a higher level of maintenance plus a hygiene strategy adapted for a flexible office. It is becoming increasingly evident that cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace are vital factors for productivity today.”
Open-plan offices lead to a greater degree of socialising plus a higher level of sharing of both facilities and technology, he said.
Stuart added: “This means that office workers face more hygiene risks than ever before. At the same time, many people – particularly younger generations – are becoming more health-conscious which means that ensuring a clean and safe work environment becomes more important than ever when recruiting new talent.”
A global survey by Essity earlier this year revealed that 22% of employees say they often refrain from using the toilets at work, with the figure rising to 30% among younger people. The most common reasons for this relate to unhygienic or messy washrooms. It also revealed that around 40% of people globally say they often worry about becoming ill due to poor hygiene.
Stuart continued: “Employers seeking to attract and retain millennials should be aware that young people are much more concerned about poor hygiene than the older workforce. In fact, 50% of people aged 16-25 said they often worried about hygiene, while that figure was only 21% among people aged 61 and over.”
He adds that implementing a good hand hygiene programme in an office can reduce absenteeism while also improving morale and enhancing the employee’s attitude toward the workplace.
Hand hygiene improves when opportunities for practising it increase, according to the Tork White Paper. Stuart continued: “For example, the installation of Tork EasyCube facility management software throughout an office building will ensure that cleaning needs are met and that all dispensers are kept well stocked at all times.
“Introducing the Tork Hygiene Stand can also improve compliance since this will act as a hand hygiene reminder while also making Tork Alcohol Foam Hand Sanitiser and Tork Facial Tissues immediately available to staff and visitors.”