This study proves your coworkers are not as clean as you think

If you are working remotely like many Americans right now, chances are you’ll be glad you’re doing so after reading this article. A new Joblist study, which surveyed 1,000 respondents about their hygiene habits around the workplace, found that people’s habits at work, specifically their hygiene habits, are worse than you think.

Your coworkers are probably not as clean as you think

Hygiene starts at home, which is why it’s alarming that 50% of respondents admitted to going to work in the last month without showering.  Additionally, 23% of respondents don’t always wear deodorant at work.

Your coworker’s clothes might be just as dirty as they are, with 25% of respondents responding that they have come to the office in sweaty clothes and 56% saying that they went to work wearing unwashed clothes previously worn to the office.

Many respondents admitted to having bad habits at work.

Take a look at the following bad habits at work:

  • 49.9% didn’t wash their hand before eating
  • 47.7% swept crumbs off their desk onto the floor
  • 37.9% have bitten their nails at work
  • 30.1% have picked their nose at work
  • 22.4% have chewed on their pens or pencils
  • 21.2% didn’t cover their mouth when coughing
  • 18.7% didn’t wash their hands before eating shared or communal foods
  • 17.5% saw someone with something in their teeth and didn’t say anything
  • 14.3% used headphones with earwax on them
  • 10.2% have left trash or dirty dishes on their desk
  • 9.5% saw someone with something on their face and didn’t say anything
  • 9.5% have chewed with their mouth open
  • 7.1% have dropped trash on the floor and not picked it up
  • 4.2% have chewed on someone else’s pens or pencils
  • 3.6% has taken someone else’s food or drink without telling them

Bathroom habits are abysmal

About 33% of respondents have seen an unflushed toilet at work before, but even worse, 26% of men admitted to having accidentally urinated on the floor at work before.

Additionally, both men and women admit using their cellphone while going to the bathroom, 32% of women and 47.86% of men while defecating compared to 46% of women and 27% of men while urinating.

Hand washing seems to be particularly hard for some colleagues, with 19% of women and 25% of men saying they have left the bathroom without washing their hands.

Are you at risk of getting sick at work?

Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, there has always been concern about picking up a sickness from coworker exhibiting symptoms. And while none of us want to get sick from a coworker, many of us have gone into work sick, with 73% of the survey respondents confessing going to work sick. Shockingly, 22% admit shaking a coworker’s hand while sick.

If someone decides to go into work sick depends on the type of sickness, according to the study, with 93.6% going to work with a cold, 25.7% going with an upset stomach, 23.9% with a sinus infection, and 20.4% going into work with flu.

Top coworker interactions while sick:

  • 62.3% of respondents attended meetings while sick
  • 53.3% of respondents had close interaction while sick (like discussing something at their desk)
  • 22% of respondents shook a coworkers hand while sick
  • 9.9% of respondents used someone else’s materials while sick without disinfecting them before giving them back
  • 6.6% of respondents shared communal food at work while sick

Another survey on handwashing in particular by the Bradley Corporation found that women consistently wash their hands more often than men. In 2019, 90% of women said they wash their hands after using a public restroom versus 83% of men. Hopefully those numbers are a lot better now.