Research reveals that one-third of office workers believe their office cleanliness level is poor, with over 70% admitting to only cleaning their desk once every few months.

With colds and flus most prominent in the workplace at this time of year, the standard of hygiene in the workplace can prevent or encourage the spread of infection.

A worrying 78% of respondents admitted to coming into the office when a cold or flu has struck, putting their colleagues at risk of infection, while only 1 in 10 said they would stay at home to recover.

When it comes to prevention methods – such as washing hands regularly or coughing and sneezing into a tissue – the survey showed that just 1 in 5 of the workers surveyed took the time to wash their hands regularly.

“Cold and influenza viruses are highly contagious and we all know that prevention is better than cure.”

Commenting on the survey carried out by office suppliers Viking, Michael Walby, Director in Ireland said: “Cold and influenza viruses are highly contagious and we all know that prevention is better than cure. Lack of cleanliness and poor personal hygiene can create an environment where germs and bacteria can spread more easily. To prevent the spread of infection, absenteeism and even a reduction in work productivity levels, we would encourage workers to keep tissues and hand sanitisers on their desks and use them regularly. These simple steps can make all the difference.”

Tips for preventing colds and flus in the workplace:

  • Where possible, keep your distance from co-workers who are sick.
  • Take the time to clean up after yourself – don’t just rely on the cleaner – use an anti-bacterial wipe on a daily basis to clean your phone and keyboard, and always clean your desk after you’ve had lunch at it.
  • Wash hands regularly and avoid shaking hands where possible – keep an anti-bacterial hand wash on your desk and use paper towels were possible.
  • Always use a tissue to cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough.
  • Call in sick if you have bad cold or flu symptoms to reduce spread of virus.