Three people engaging in workplace cleaning

The Real Deal on Workplace Hygiene: What Employees Are Saying

Is your workplace up to par with hygiene standards? Recent survey results suggest a widespread dissatisfaction among employees regarding workplace cleanliness. Let's delve into the details and see what employees really think.

Office Kitchens: A Hotbed of Complaints

When it comes to office kitchens, around 34% of employees aren't happy. The main issues they highlighted include:

  • Dirty fridges and microwaves
  • Overflowing bins
  • Grimy sinks
  • Mouldy food left in the fridge

These problems not only create an unpleasant environment but also pose health risks.

Good workplace hygiene in a lab

Washroom Woes: A Major Offense

The washrooms didn't fare much better, with 30% of employees finding them particularly offensive. Common complaints include:

  • Water and paper towels left on the floor
  • Soap and paper supplies running out
  • Leaky taps
  • Locked windows
  • Loose toilet rolls

It's alarming to note that nearly one in five employees avoid using workplace toilets due to poor hygiene. Some prefer using facilities outside the office, while others wait until they get home. This avoidance can lead to discomfort, poor concentration, and potential health issues. Additionally, poor hand hygiene can increase the risk of contamination in the office.

Communal Areas and Overall Cleanliness

Communal areas are another source of frustration, with 24% of employees expressing dissatisfaction. Overall, 57% of respondents are irritated by the state of their workplace environment.

The Decline in Standards Post-Pandemic

According to Gareth Lucy, communications director at Essity, hygiene standards have significantly declined since the global pandemic. “During the Covid era, everyone took personal hygiene and safety seriously. Offices were equipped with hand sanitisers, and frequent reminders to wash hands were common. But how quickly things change. This survey shows a significant drop in office cleanliness when it should remain a top priority,” Lucy observed.

The Business Impact of Neglecting Cleanliness

Ignoring workplace cleanliness is not just a hygiene issue; it’s a business one too. Around 60% of employees feel more productive in a clean workspace. Despite this, 39% regularly clean their own work areas, while 70% believe it should be the responsibility of hired cleaners, wanting to avoid workplace cleaning themselves. Moreover, 22% have complained to management or HR about the state of their surroundings.

Maintaining high hygiene standards is crucial for employee satisfaction and productivity. It's clear that a clean workplace isn't just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a healthier, more productive work environment. Let's prioritise cleanliness and ensure our employees feel comfortable and valued.

What Can Employers Do?

  • Implement Regular Cleaning Schedules: Ensure that both kitchens and washrooms are cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
  • Provide Adequate Supplies: Keep kitchens and washrooms stocked with necessary supplies like soap, paper towels, and toilet paper.
  • Encourage Good Hygiene Practices: Place reminders about personal hygiene and proper cleanliness practices around the office.
  • Listen to Employee Feedback: Regularly survey employees to understand their concerns and address them promptly.

The Benefits of a Effective Workplace Cleaning

Maintaining high workplace hygiene standards offers numerous benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics. Here’s how a clean workplace, workplace cleaning, and workplace hygiene can make a significant impact:

Preventing the Spread of Infections

A clean workplace can drastically reduce the spread of infections among employees. By encouraging everyone in the office to keep their desks clean and follow basic hygiene practices such as washing their hands regularly, the spread of germs and infections can be minimised. This proactive approach helps maintain a healthier workforce and reduces the likelihood of widespread illness.

Boosting Productivity

A cluttered, dirty desk can be incredibly distracting, making it difficult for employees to focus on their tasks. On the other hand, a clean and organised workspace promotes better concentration and efficiency. By keeping desks clean and tidy, employees are more likely to stay focused, which can lead to increased productivity and improved overall performance.

Enhancing Employee Health

A clean office is synonymous with a healthy office. Regular workplace cleaning and maintenance can help protect employees from common office illnesses, such as colds and flu. By reducing the presence of germs and allergens, a clean workplace contributes to the overall health and well-being of employees, leading to fewer health-related issues and a more energetic, motivated workforce.

Reducing Sick Days

One of the most tangible benefits of workplace hygiene is the reduction in the number of sick days taken by employees. When the spread of infections is minimised and overall health is improved, employees are less likely to fall ill. This not only benefits the individuals but also enhances the overall productivity and efficiency of the organisation, as fewer sick days mean more consistent workflow and less disruption.

Reducing Workplace Injuries

A clean and well-organised workplace minimises hazards that can lead to slips, trips, and falls. By ensuring that walkways are clear of clutter, spills are promptly cleaned up, and floors are free from debris, the risk of accidents is significantly reduced. Regular maintenance and workplace cleaning checks can help identify potential hazards before they cause injuries.

In summary, maintaining a clean and hygienic workplace, promoting workplace hygiene, and ensuring regular workplace cleaning are essential for preventing infections, boosting productivity, enhancing employee health, and reducing the number of sick days. Investing in cleanliness is investing in the well-being and efficiency of your team, making it a top priority for any successful business.


A clean workplace is more than just a clean space; it's a place where employees feel valued and motivated. By addressing hygiene issues head-on, employers can boost productivity, improve morale, and create a healthier work environment for everyone.

Let’s make workplace hygiene a priority and show our employees that their health and comfort matter.

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