June 17, 2024

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Survey suggests homeworking encourages better employee health and performance

New research suggests that half of employees (50%) feel healthier when they work from home at least two days a week with 38 per cent believing they perform better when homeworking.

The report, commissioned by award-winning cleaning firm, Cleanology, looked into behaviour around illness and work, and attitudes towards workplace hygiene.

The report also found that, compared with their male counterparts, women are more likely to struggle in to work while feeling under the weather. They are also more prone to point the finger at colleagues for passing on illness in the first place.

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly two thirds (64%) feel more pressure to come into work when they feel under the weather, with 1 in 5 (21%) feeling more prone to getting ill than a year ago.
  • 23% agree they get ill because of how dirty their workplace is, with 2 in 5 (39%) carrying cleaning wipes and having to clean their desk (36%) and/or kitchen (30%) as it wasn’t properly cleaned.
  • Half (53%) have caught a cold from a colleague who should have taken a day off, with over 3 in 5 (62%) not being able to do work to the best of their abilities when they’re sick.
  • Sick colleagues (66%) are, by far, the top reason behind making employees sick, followed by dirty toilets (28%) and keyboards (24%).
  • A quarter of men (25%) reported having to clean the toilet at work, compared with just (17%) of women.
  • A third (34%) have noticed an increase in presenteeism.

Dominic Ponniah, CEO at Cleanology, said the research showed an interesting perspective on cleanliness and ways in which pressure to attend, even when, under the weather, has an impact on effective working.

He said:

“Our findings raise important questions about standard work practices and whether businesses would benefit from encouraging people to work from home. More than half of those surveyed had caught a cold from a colleague, while 62 agreed that they are not able to work to the best of their abilities when they are sick. Respondents felt guilty for coming to work coughing and sneezing.

“While only a quarter of people blamed a dirty workplace for catching an illness, two out of five carry cleaning wipes. For us, as professional cleaners, this is a telling insight into the standard of cleaning in many workplaces. For employers and Facilities Managers, it must also raise questions about the link between cleanliness in the workplace and productivity.”

The survey – conducted by Sapio Research – questioned 1,056 respondents.