How a clean workplace bathroom can increase productivity


A clean workplace bathroom can not only create a good first impression on staff and customers but it can make your workforce more productive and happier.


How dirty are workplace bathrooms?

Are workplace bathrooms really that dirty and can they make you ill?

Everywhere has bacteria, including in our bodies, but not all bacteria is harmful.

There was, however, a wide range of enteric (affecting the intestines), skin and soil bacteria and enteric and respiratory viruses identified in public washrooms.

As well as that, antibiotic resistant E.coli is more likely to be spread through poor toilet hygiene, by faecal particles moving from human to human contact, than undercooked food.

In restrooms, in a study were 7,482 samples were gathered, there were 6,678 (89.25%) contaminated cases.

This included door handles, the toilet faucet, and taps.


Faucet handles were the second-dirtiest spot in the bathroom in an NSF study. The faucet handles in some cases tested positive for yeast and mould, coliform and staph.

The reason for poor bathroom hygiene was due to open-lid toilet flushing, ineffective hand washing, blocked drains, and infrequent cleaning, among other factors.

But, only in a few cases were infectious diseases mostly related to faecal-oral transmission originating from bathrooms in restaurants reported.

So, while workplace bathrooms can contain bacteria, it isn’t common to become ill from it.


And studies have found that office kitchens have more bacteria than toilet seats. Toilet seats are actually one of the cleanest places in your workplace and at home.


It is thought this is because people are aware of the possible bacteria that could spread in bathrooms and maintain a higher cleaning standard in toilets than other areas of the workplace.



What are the benefits of a clean bathroom?

There are many benefits to keeping a clean bathroom including:


Attract and retain more customers

First impressions are incredibly important.

If customers see an untidy bathroom, they will assume little effort has gone into cleaning it and if you don’t take care of customer facing areas, what on earth are you doing behind the scenes.

In 91% of cases, respondents would have a negative opinion of a business if their public spaces were not clean, even if the business had good service.

Having a clean environment can even mean that customers are willing to forgive other issues such as slow service. With 74% willing to overlook this if the facilities are clean.


Increase productivity

A clean and tidy workplace leads to increased productivity, according to many studies, including one by HLW International LLP.

They found in clean and well-maintained offices, the employees were 12% more productive.

Employees who are more productive are better value for your business.


Higher job satisfaction

When a work environment is clean and tidy, employees also have higher job satisfaction.

Employees who enjoy being at work are more likely to stay with you which helps to decrease staff turnover and the stress and cost associated with this.



Does leaving the toilet seat up spread germs?

When a toilet is flushed and the seat is up, an invisible mist of flush water droplets and bacteria is projected from the bowl.

It can spread almost 2.5 metres and live on you or surfaces for up to 24 hours.

This is called the toilet ‘Sneeze Effect’. Just like when you sneeze without covering your face and spread bacteria to other people.

To avoid this to stop the spread of bacteria from the toilet to yourself and to others, close the lid and leave the toilet stall immediately after flushing.



Best way to clean your workplace bathroom

Workplace bathrooms should be cleaned regularly to ensure you provide a safe environment for staff and customers.



Toilets should be cleaned every day in the workplace.

You should use disinfectant to clean inside the toilet. Disinfectant should be left for a few minutes for ‘kill time’ before rinsing.

You can use toilet wipes to clean the toilet seat, cistern, and handle. You can also use toilet sanitiser for the seat.

Don’t forget to clean under the rim and other places that you can’t see such as behind the toilet on at least a weekly basis.


Shop toilet sanitiser

Bathroom sinks

Sinks should be cleaned once a day to get rid of germs and look presentable.

Use disinfectant to clean the sink and taps.

Using automatic soap dispensers or automatic taps can reduce the amount of people touching these to prevent the spread of germs.


Bathroom floors

By cleaning your bathroom floor on a regular basis, you are not only reducing bacteria but you are maintaining your flooring to ensure it lasts longer.

Clear any debris from your floor by vacuuming or brushing it first.

Both wet and moist mopping help reduce organic soil on floors. Disinfects are needed to get rid of bacteria and viruses. A spray such a Zidac’s multi-purpose disinfectant spray can kill 99.99% of bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces along with fungi and yeasts.

Using microfibre for mops or cloths to clean your floor is a good choice because microfibres lower bacteria levels by 96%.


Bathroom walls

Bathroom walls can be a forgotten area but it is important to also clean these on a regular basis such as once a week.

You can use a different mop for this or use antibacterial wipes.


Bathroom waste

Any waste bins should be covered to stop any smells and it looks better. They should be regularly emptied especially if you have high footfall.  


Bathroom cleaning schedule

You should create a bathroom cleaning schedule and you can even place this on the back of the bathroom door to show customers when it was last cleaned.

On your bathroom cleaning schedule you should have the following:

  • The date
  • Areas to be cleaned
  • How often they should be cleaned
  • Who is responsible for cleaning them.

A daily, weekly, and monthly schedule should be created. These types of records are not only important to show customers and hold staff accountable, but also for any inspections you may face.

A lack of documentation is one of the reason for not getting a five star food hygiene rating.  


Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene is extremely important as 80% of germs are spread by our hands.

You may be surprised to know that only 67% of people washed their hands after using a public toilet. This contaminates not only your bathroom but other areas of your business.

Effective hand washing can significantly reduce infections in your workplace.

Encourage hand hygiene by providing hand sanitiser at bathroom doors, always have hand hygiene supplies in your bathroom, and use signs to encourage compliance.



Ventilation in your bathroom

Ensure there is proper ventilation in your bathroom to get rid of smells and circulate air.


Bathroom design

Use non-touch buttons and sensors where possible.

Using copper products in frequently touched locations can help reduce bacteria.

Choose a metal or plastic holder with a cover for your toilet paper to guard against splattered water and germs.


How often should toilets be cleaned?

Depending on your footfall, toilets should be cleaned at least once a day.

If there is heavy traffic, this should be multiple times throughout the day.


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