One-in-three office workers pop to the loo – even if they don’t need to go – to escape their colleagues and have a break from work.
A poll of 2,000 office workers found that the average amount to time spend in the toilet each day was just under 14 minutes.
Over the course of a year, excluding weekend and holiday days, that works out at around 56 hours a year, a total of seven working days out of the average working year.
Our study found that competition for office space in the UK is at an 18 year high, meaning many offices are increasingly cramped, with workers squeezed into ever-smaller work stations.
The poll found that as a break from their poky working areas, one-third of the workers quizzed used the office loo as a ‘break zone’ even if they didn’t need to go to the toilet, so they could get away from their desk and dodge colleagues.
A total of 39 per cent of those polled said the office loo was the best place to ‘get some peace and quiet’, rather than popping outside in the open air.
Despite this, however, 41 per cent said that office loos were often ‘a mess’ and that hygiene standards should be improved, so they can enjoy their loo breaks better.
A total of 19 per cent of those polled said they believed their firm had lost clients because of the disgusting state of their office loos.
Officer worker Will Fraser, 34, said he often popped to the loo for a ‘screen break’. He said: “I sometimes just go to the loo to get a break from my computer screen – I just sit in the cubicle and rest my eyes for five minutes.
“As long as I don’t go to sleep I don’t reckon my bosses would mind – it’s just like when people used to go outside for cigarette breaks, but now its a loo break instead.”
Dr Colm More, of Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: “With competition for office space at an 18 year high, research has found that workers are increasingly using the washroom as a break out space, creating a potential hygiene risk. With more people spending longer in the loo and as offices become more densely populated, the potential risk of cross contamination is increased, as the reduced space makes the transfer of germs more likely.”
“This could be compounded as cooler weather sets in and we start to enter flu season.” He added: “Office space is at a premium in the UK and workers across the UK are also noticing a squeeze.”
“More than two in five office workers say the total number of staff in their office has increased and 60 per cent reported that this is manifesting in a shortage of workspace, fewer car parking spaces and busier washroom facilities.”
At Initial our Aircare products help you reassure visitors that your washroom is cleaned and cared for, helping to create a positive view of your business. For more information please feel free to contact us or call us on 0800 313 4972, and we will be more than happy to help.