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Personal Hygiene in the Workplace

personal hygiene in the workplace

When you work in a communal space with your colleagues, it's important that you maintain good personal hygiene. This includes everything from keeping your personal workspace tidy to ensuring you look presentable and stay clean. 

How important is personal hygiene in the workplace?

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, personal hygiene in the workplace has become even more important than ever before. After all, someone who doesn't wash their hands and keep their workspace clean could be putting other colleagues at risk. Personal hygiene in the workplace has always been important though, pandemic or no pandemic. Your employer is well within their rights to speak to you about your personal hygiene in the workplace if you're not keeping yourself or your space clean to a certain standard. Here are a few more reasons why workplace hygiene is so important...

Risk of spreading illnesses 

As we've already mentioned, people with poor personal hygiene are likely to put their colleagues at risk of catching viruses and diseases (not just COVID-19). If 2 or 3 staff members have to go on sick leave due to an outbreak of sickness in the office, that could put a lot of pressure on those left behind. If everyone is conscious of their personal hygiene in the workplace, it dramatically reduces the risk of mass illnesses in the workforce.

The face of the business

Whether you work in an office, a shop, a restaurant or a laboratory - you are the face of your business. If you're in any role that's customer or client-facing then it's vital that you maintain a good level of personal hygiene because you're representing your company. People who are motivated to progress within their company are likely to take their personal hygiene seriously because they want to be involved in important meetings etc. If you take pride in your appearance and hygiene, it shows that you care about your work and want to portray yourself professionally, so don't slack on your personal hygiene if you're looking for a promotion!

Relationships with colleagues

Chances are if you're someone who regularly turns up to work unclean (and potentially smelly) then people are going to have a hard time interacting with you. If you want to build better relationships with your colleagues it's important that you maintain good personal hygiene. This includes washing your hair, brushing your teeth, wearing clean clothes and keeping your workspace tidy. More often than not, people who are messy are also disorganised and your mess might even distract the people sitting around you. So, if you want to have better relationships with people at work, make sure you're putting some time and effort into your personal hygiene.

Should I tell somebody if they have poor personal hygiene? 

A little while ago, we did a survey about 'good office etiquette'. In this survey, we asked people whether or not they would take action if they were working with a colleague with poor personal hygiene. You can see the results below. Of the people we asked, 72% said that they would either tell the person directly or raise the issue with HR. This highlights that 'most' people would tell somebody if they felt they felt uncomfortable about someone's personal hygiene in the workplace. Would you tell someone?

So if you were wondering whether personal hygiene in the workplace is important, or whether someone is likely to speak to you if you let your personal hygiene slip - the answer is yes! To keep up with more workplace insights, be sure to like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.