The Sensitivity of an Unhygienic Workplace [Infographic]

Noah Guilar 6m 1,434 #hygiene

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on this website are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Confessions of the Professions thereof. By reading the following article, you do not hold responsible Confessions of the Professions or any contributing authors for the content of this confession. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Read This Confession To Me

Psychological and Physical Problems with Unhygienic Workplace [Infographic]

Dirty Keyboard

You are highly prone to certain health problems with dirt and germs in an unclean office space. Your staff may suffer from breathing problems. It is important to keep your office space sprinkling clean so your staff can work with full excitement and stay safe. Unhygienic office environment doesn’t only affect the physical health, but also adversely affect the mental well-being of employees. The state of mind of your staff can drastically be affected because of poor indoor air quality and filthy workplaces.

Within 2 to 4 hours, infectious bacteria are prone to spread in your office, but you can reduce the contamination of bacteria and virus by around 99% with proper hygiene. Make sure your office disinfectants have QUAT compounds (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds). How we interact with our physical environment is widely related to what we see, smell, taste and touch. A cluttered and muddled office space can make your staff feel like you don’t care about their health. Increased injuries and negative staff performance are some of the common problems associated with unhygienic workplace. In addition, staff starts losing its interest and start finding another job if they constantly hate their office environment.

Germs can flourish anywhere in your office space. Water fountain buttons are also contaminated and they have to be cleaned properly. In offices, around 27% of keyboards are found dirty in a recent study. Microwave and door handles are also dirty and they have bacteria. So, it is important to have hand sanitizers in office space that can easily be accessible. They can kill germs and avoid the growth of infection. Also clean up the environment in common areas and corridors with air sanitizers to prevent the spread of infection. You can enjoy several benefits in clean and healthy working environment.

Psychological and Physical Problems with Unhygienic Workplace [Infographic]

Click to open / Right-click for save options

PDF Version

Text-Friendly Version



A filthy office is at high risk of having germs and dust. This results in breathing problems to employees in your office.

Two factors that negatively impact the psychological state of employees are unclean workplaces and poor indoor air quality.

Sensory Stimulation

  • What we smell, see, hear, touch, and taste – has a variable impact on how we perceive our physical surroundings.
  • Staff entering a disorganized and cluttered workplace feel like they are doing an obstacle course on a daily basis.

Low Morale

  • One of the common problems with an unhygienic workplace is staff turnover, and more injures.
  • Employees lose the desire to be a team player and start job hunting if they are constantly hurting themselves on tools left lying around, breathing in dust, dodging clutter left lying around in the office, and getting sick from germs; this will definitely start to affect your business.


  • Infectious bacteria and viruses spread everywhere in 2 to 4 hours. Studies have shown that 40% to 60% of sampled surfaces in buildings are usually contaminated.
  • Cleaning with disinfectants that contain quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT) along with proper hand hygiene, reduce the spread of virus and bacteria up to 99%.
  • A new study found that the average desk contains about 400 times more bacteria than a typical toilet seat.
  • Unhygienic workplaces are costing businesses an average of 5.4 billion a year in lost earnings.
  • Research has shown that one in four office workers fail to wash hands after using the bathroom.
  • The office phone was the most contaminated object on a desktop with 25,127 microbes per square inch.
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is an enzyme that is present in all living cells, and an ATP monitoring system can detect the amount of organic matter that remains after cleaning an environmental surface, a medical device, or a surgical instrument.
  • The amount of ATP detected, and where this ATP was detected, indicates areas and items in the healthcare setting that may need to be recleaned, and the possible need for improvement in a healthcare facility’s cleaning protocols.

TV Remote Controls Are a Leading Carrier of Bacteria

If you’re staying at a hotel you may want to stay away from that remote and be careful of the light switches. These objects are among the most contaminated items in hotel rooms with bacteria levels between 2 to 10 times higher than what’s accepted in hospitals.

Germs from Flushing Toilet Can Travel up to 6 Feet

It’s not just the door and toilet handles you need to watch out for in publich washrooms. Every time a toilet is flushed and the lid is left up, a fine aerosol mist is sprayed into the air that contains all types of bacteria causing diseases. Air movement including hot air dryers can encourage the dispersal and transmission of this bacteria. It can then be inhaled or deposited on your clothes, creating a potential mobile source of infection.

Handbags Carry up to 10,000 Bacteria per square inch and 30% Have Fecal Bacteria

Forget about what’s in your handbag, what’s on it is much worse. Bags come into contact with some very germy places including public washrooms, public transport, and the floors of restaurants, malls, and bars, to name a few. That bacteria travels everywhere the bag does, landing on desks, restaurant tables, and counter tops, etc. So guys, the next time your significant other asks you to hold their purse, ‘not looking cool’ should be the least of your worries.

200% More Fecal Bacteria on Cutting Boards than Toilet Seats

The average kitchen chopping board has around 200% more fecal bacteria on it than a toilet seat. Food safety experts suggest you use different cutting boards for red meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables. Also, your kitchen sponge can contain thousands of bacteria per square inch including E. coli and Salmonella. Be sure to replace them often.

1 in 5 People Don’t Wash Their Hands

Sadly, 1 in 5 people don’t wash their hands and those that do only 30% use soap. The CDC recommends 15-20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water to effectively kill germs, but only about 5% of people wash their hands for 15-seconds or more. The result – fecal matter including E. coli can be found on just over a quarter of our hands.

So thank you to the Romans for creating soap, because it’s like a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine when used correctly to wash your hands. It involves five simple and effective steps (wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry) as recommended by the CDC. Regular hand washing and some common hygiene sense will help you step out of the dark ages and effectively overcome these 5 gross hygiene facts.


Water fountain buttons: Twenty-three percent of water fountain buttons tested received ATP readings of 300 or more, suggesting they are dirty and need to be cleaned, while 53 percent scored 100 or more.

Refrigerator door handles: Twenty-six percent of refrigerator door handles were in dire need of cleaning, while 69 percent of them should probably be wiped with some bleach or germ-killing agent sooner rather than later.

Keyboard: Twenty-seven percent of keyboards found in offices were “dirty” with ATP readings of 300 or more, while 69 percent could use some cleaning.

Microwave door handles: Forty-eight percent of microwave door handles received ATP readings of 300 or more making them dirty, while 80 percent of the handles had readings of over 100.

Break room sink faucet handles: By far, the dirtiest place in the office was the sink faucet found in the break room. Seventy-five percent of them had “officially dirty” readings, while 91 percent of them could be cleaner.


Washrooms: The spread of infection can be minimized with toilet sanitizers and toilet seat cleaners within the cubicle and hand soap and drying facilities in the washing areas.

Reception / Entrance Area: Easily accessible hand sanitizers will kill germs and help prevent the spread of infection.

Corridors / Common Areas: Clean air sanitizers eliminate malodour-producing bacteria and hand sanitizers will help prevent the spread of infection.

Desks / Meeting Rooms: Hand sanitizers from Initial can help minimize the spread of germs.

Kitchen Area: Good hand washing and drying products as well as hand sanitizers will help to minimize the risk of infection.


A clean, working environment is positive in many ways.

Few injuries

Less time taken off work

More positivity

A better impression with clients

Lower staff turnover

Better productivity and turnover

Stress reduction for all concerned

Cleaning up at work is clearly less costly than the long-term psychological effects of an unclean workplace.