The employer must respect certain obligations concerning sanitary facilities (number of toilets, sinks, accessibility for people with disabilities, etc.). That they are fitted out in accordance with the law is a good thing, but they must still be kept clean to contribute to the well-being of the employees.
The toilet at work can be a nightmare: Why? How can the situation be improved?
Clean toilets for well-being
The condition of the toilets is an important criterion for the well-being of employees at work. Indeed, for 59% of working people, better sanitary hygiene would improve their well-being.
A third of them in France are not satisfied with their cleanliness. According to a survey carried out by Interview-NSS (a subsidiary of Ipsos), 25% of people do not prefer to go to the bathroom because of their dirtiness. This can give the impression that the company is not interested in working conditions.
Toilets at work: embarrassment and disgust
In 2013, a serious study published by Rentokil Initial and the Center for Economics and Business Resarch indicates that the lack of hygiene at work would have cost 14.5 billion euros to the French economy. 10 billion would relate to the time spent by employees cleaning or looking for clean toilets.
According to a Rentokil Initial study , 54% of employees refrain from going to the toilet and ¼ of those questioned say they have already been rather shocked by their condition.
It is a place often synonymous with embarrassment but also with disgust. Have you ever gone into the toilet only to come out immediately after seeing their condition? This same study identified a few facts:
- 48% of employees noticed an overflowing sanitary bin
- 43% of employees have already found urine outside the urinals / toilets
- 20% of employees found fecal matter
- 12% of employees found blood
In addition, according to an Opinion Matters study, 48.7% of employees do not always wash their hands after using the office bathroom. Think of all these easily transmitted microbes (printer, pens, keyboard, door handles, cups…) on a daily basis.
Other situations encountered : used tampons, bristles, lack of toilet paper, speckled bowls, foul odor, lack of hand towels, etc.
Rules to follow and advice
We shouldn’t have to remember certain rules: they are part of education. Many people can confirm that they are not automatic for everyone:
- Flushing the toilet (leaving without flushing it is the worst habit for 72% of respondents during the Rentokil Initial study)
- Leave the toilet clean (no need to add more bacteria)
- Use the toilet brush if necessary
- Deodorize in case of bad smell
- Wash one’s hands
- Fold down the bezel
- Put back paper if there is no more
- Throw away the empty paper roll
- Do not leave a single, useless sheet of paper
- Add hand soap if it is not available
If you don’t know how to approach the subject, you can first put up some words, posters on the WC doors to remind you of these basic rules. If despite this, the state of the toilets remains catastrophic, a verbal update with all the employees will surely be necessary.