In a modern office, general standards are expected to be met to ensure it’s a safe and pleasant place for employees to work in. This is in regards to all areas of the workplace, from efficient layout techniques to facilities, accessibility and hygiene; all play a part in making the office a productive place for work.

For most people, cleanliness and hygiene is number one in regards to the workplace; no matter how stylish and well-designed a space is, if it’s dirty and unpleasant it can have a serious knock-on effect for employees. A new study focusing on workplace hygiene and bathroom facilities has revealed that in the UK, not all offices provide satisfactory standards.

The research, from the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors, found that 16.5% of UK employees are unhappy with the condition of toilet facilities provided for them, and it’s actually affecting their overall happiness at work.  

In Wales and the South-East of England, this percentage rises to over one fifth, and London is crowned as being home to most unhappy employees due to poorly maintained loos at a whopping 50.9% saying their loos require better maintenance and refurbishing.

Almost half (at 43.8%) of respondents also felt that the toilet facilities at their work needed to be better maintained, and 44.4% said ‘yes’ when asked if facilities were in need of a refurbishment.

Zooming in on the survey, those unhappy with workplace toilets pinpointed the following issues:
  • Bad smells
  • Cracked tiles
  • Broken facilities such as toilet seats, toilet bowls, sinks and taps
  • Plumbing issues e.g. poorly flushing toilets
  • Dirty, out-dated décor
John Thompson, Chief Executive of APHC, commented, “There are too many employers who are seemingly neglecting the up-keep and maintenance of their toilet facilities. Employers have a legal requirement to adhere to. The Health & Safety Executive state that where it is reasonably practicable, employers have to provide adequate toilet and washing facilities for employees. In 2010, a businessman was fined £30,000 because he failed to ensure that his premises were equipped with clean and functioning toilet and welfare facilities.

“However, over and above all legal requirements, employers have a moral duty to provide clean, safe and well maintained toilet facilities.

“From a commercial point of view, investment in employee well-being is crucial for a business in order to be successful, as an unhappy workforce can cost employers dearly in reduced productivity, low quality levels, increased sick-leave and in staff turnover with the recruitment and training of new members of staff.”

To read our post expressing the importance of good workplace bathrooms, click here.

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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