Eat. Text. Not wash hands.
These are the activities that an unsettling percentage of people say they do in the bathroom at work, according to the 2014 Hygiene Matters Survey conducted for SCA, a Swedish-based global hygiene product company.
A business intelligence firm and research company did online polling of 13,000 people from 13 different countries, including a representative sample of 1,058 adults in the United States.
Their findings of American workplace bathroom habits are a mixture of gross and sad:
- 10 percent said they only "sometimes" wash their hands after using the toilet, with 1 percent admitting they never do it. Please, for the love of all things, wash those hands!
- 25 percent said they have gone to the bathroom to text, while 23 percent said they did the same to talk on the phone. That's actually surprisingly low.
- 8 percent said they use their workplace bathrooms to eat. Um, eating literally anywhere else is less disgusting. Why would you do that to your food?
- 7 percent go to the bathroom to exercise. How big are these bathrooms?!
- 5 percent said they smoke in the bathroom, the same percentage that goes to their work bathrooms to sleep. Hopefully not at the same time.
- Almost half of Americans don't ever wash their hands after arriving at work.
Globally, one in 10 adults said they've gone to their workplace bathrooms for "taking a break to cry" and 15 percent said they would actually tell co-workers that they had poor hygiene. (So any of you with running mental lists of people who don't wash their hands after using the toilet: Maybe it's time to call out those co-workers.)
As bad as Americans' habits may seem, people in other countries are way more unsatisfied with the state of their work toilets, especially in China and Italy. A majority of Russians also wish that their employers would pay more attention to bathrooms at work.
By comparison, Americans were the most satisfied with their work bathrooms — 87 percent said so.
And 13 percent of Americans said they actually preferred their work bathrooms to the ones they had a home. I'm certainly not one of those 13 percent; after seeing these numbers I'll stick to my bathroom at home, where people aren't eating and leaving with unwashed hands.