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Employees increasingly mindful of office hygiene as they return to the workplace: survey

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Worker and hand sanitizer
Photo: eggeeggjiew/iStockphoto

Philadelphia — A vast majority of employees who are returning to the workplace after working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic say they plan to continue practicing elevated hygiene amid concerns over the cleanliness of their offices and being around colleagues again, according to the results of a recent survey commissioned by hygiene and health company Essity.

Researchers from the Harris Poll in May surveyed nearly 2,100 adult workers about their attitudes and expectations concerning office hygiene and cleanliness as many returned to the workplace. Results show that 84% of respondents said they’re likely to maintain heightened hygiene practices adopted in response to the pandemic, as 65% expressed concerns over the cleanliness of their workspace and 59% indicated an uneasiness about working in proximity to co-workers.

Among workers who have returned to the office, more than half said they’ve observed colleagues adopting new behaviors related to cleanliness, including using hand sanitizer more often (57%), washing their hands more often (53%) and shaking hands less (51%).

 

In a press release, Essity spokesperson Amy Bellcourt said the survey is intended to “prompt employers to ask themselves, ‘Are we ready?’ to welcome employees back by addressing their concerns, and then provide the insights needed to fully assess back-to-work plans so that there can be time to implement changes to ensure employees are in a consistently safe and healthy environment.”

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