The condition of a workplace restroom is an indicator of how a company values its workforce, according to 89% of Americans surveyed in Bradley Corporation’s recent Healthy Hand Washing Survey. And even though 67% of workers rank their restrooms as excellent or very good, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
According to the survey, workers would like to have more touchless fixtures—such as automatic toilets and motion-activated faucets and air freshener—at their disposal. Full-length mirrors, shelving for belongings, and electric hand dryers are also on workers’ wish lists.
These requests make sense, since nearly half say they’ve experienced issues with their workplace restrooms that a little deodorizer or automatic fixtures could address. The top complaints uncovered by the survey are unpleasant smells, clogged or unflushed toilets, and empty or jammed toilet paper dispensers.
Healthy Hand Washing On The Wane
The survey also explored hand washing behaviors in and out of the workplace: 61% of workers say they’ve seen a colleague leave the restroom without washing his or her hands. That’s a marked increase from the 2016 survey when less than half (42%) said they had witnessed a coworker skip hand washing.
When it comes to sick colleagues, the overwhelming majority of survey respondents consciously take steps to protect themselves by avoiding a sick person, abstaining from shaking his or her hand, and washing their own hands more frequently.
Precautionary measures also show up outside of work: The survey found 70% of Americans ramp up their hand washing practices during the flu season. Their hygiene actions include washing more frequently and more thoroughly or longer after using a public restroom.
And, to avoid getting or passing germs on to others, they utilize a three-pronged approach—wash their hands more frequently, stay home when they’re sick, and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. They even change the way they greet people: They wave hello, avoid shaking hands altogether, or use a fist bump instead.
“It’s positive news to find out that Americans are consistently using hand washing as their first line of defense against contracting a cold or flu,” says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development at Bradley.
Bradley Corporation has conducted the Healthy Hand Washing Survey since 2009. The 2017 Healthy Hand Washing Survey queried 1,042 American adults online Dec. 12-15, 2016, about their workplace restrooms, hand washing habits in public restrooms, and concerns about germs, colds and the flu. Participants were from around the country, were 18 years and older, and were almost evenly split between men and women (49 and 51 percent).