Workers fear returning to work due to colleagues lack of hygiene

A third of employees are reluctant to return to the office due to fears their colleagues will not follow proper hygiene guidelines allowing COVID-19 to spread.

This research comes from Solopress, a print firm that found that 33 per cent of UK workers do not have any faith in their colleagues in regards to making sure they keep themselves clean.

Prior to the pandemic, traits of the average office worker could now start to disappear, as 44 per cent of staff are now worried about sharing equipment, communal spaces (35 per cent) and bathrooms (30 per cent).

Even the office tea round could die out as 27 per cent now feel uneasy about making a drink for their team.

Employers still want their staff to return, as only 11 per cent believe that people are more productive whilst working at home. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) are planning on bringing their teams back to work over the next three months and 61 per cent wish to reopen this month (July).

More than (59 per cent) of employees believe that hand sanitiser stations, social distancing floor stickers (33 per cent) and face masks (33 per cent) are integral to keeping them safe at work. Still, Matt Hancock, Health Secretary has said there is no plan to enforce English employees to wear a face mask whilst in the office. 

Mr Hancock explained that face masks help to curb the spread of the virus when you have a short encounter with a stranger, however, when it comes to contact with the same person for a longer period of time social distancing and hand washing are more effective.

Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of bosses will make hand sanitiser stations a permanent part of the workplace, with 80 per cent saying this is the most important way to ensure staff safety.

Simon Cooper, managing director of Solopress said:

Whilst it’s great for the UK economy that businesses are starting to reopen, it’s clear there are concerns about safety and hygiene with over half of the British workforce not trusting that their colleagues are following the government guidelines.

With just a little investment in protective products and essential equipment, businesses can help ease these concerns and make the move back to the office as comfortable as possible. We’re proud to be producing items like sanitiser stations and floor stickers, which are clearly paramount in creating a safe office environment for staff.

In order to obtain these results, Solopress spoke to 723 UK employers and employees.