When it comes to washroom breaks, office workers in the U.S. say that touchless washroom fixtures are the number one feature that would make them feel safer when using their workplace washroom.
According to the latest Healthy Handwashing Survey by Bradley Corp., touch-free washroom fixtures received the highest safety ranking, followed by access to well-stocked supplies such as soap and paper towels; a clean, disinfectant smell; sufficient space for social distancing; and posted signage with the restroom’s cleaning schedule.
Not only do they associate touchless fixtures with a safer restroom environment, but office workers also view them as must-haves. Nearly four-in-five (79 per cent of) office workers believe no-touch fixtures are an important feature in workplace washrooms. Among the general U.S. population, this sentiment is even higher – 84 per cent say they are important in public washrooms.
“Interestingly, two-thirds of office workers use a paper towel to avoid touching restroom door handles, flushers and faucet handles,” said Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing and corporate communications, Bradley Corp. “This evasive action further demonstrates why touch-free restroom fixtures resonate so much with restroom users.”
Handwashing is also top-of-mind for office workers, as 70 per cent report washing their hands more now because of new COVID-19 strains, such as the Delta variant. Overall, half of office workers are washing their hands six-plus times a day.
“Just as 9-11 changed air travel and the iPod changed how we listen to music, Covid has changed how we view handwashing and washrooms,” Dommisse said.
Rating the condition of workplace washrooms
The survey also shows 75 per cent of office workers believe the condition of a workplace restroom is one indicator of how a company values its workforce. Fortunately, 68% of office workers rate their restrooms as excellent or very good.
That’s not to say office workers don’t experience problems with workplace restrooms. 81 per cent have encountered at least one issue while using them. The most annoying issues – cited by 62 per cent of workers – are empty or non-working soap, paper towel and/or toilet paper dispensers. Another 62 per cent are concerned with restroom cleanliness.
Highlighting office hygiene improvements
Most employers (62 per cent) have made improvements to make employees feel safer returning to work amidst the pandemic with upgrades such as adding hand sanitizing stations around the office (66 per cent), cleaning offices and washrooms more frequently (65 per cent) and encouraging employees to stay home while they’re sick (51 per cent).
Interestingly, only 42 per cent of companies have communicated these changes to their employees.
Sharing these improvements positively impacts employers since 53 per cent of office workers say their employer’s response to the pandemic makes them feel more valued, 50 per cent say it shows the company cares about its employees, and 35 per cent say it makes them feel more positive about their company.