Human Resources



Use a tissue! These are the grossest workplace habits

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Coughing, sneezing, constant sniffing and not using a tissue are some of the worst workplace habits your employees are complaining about.

Not only are they distracting and lead to the spread of bacteria and viruses, they’re just downright gross.

An online survey by Harris asked more than 2,000 employees to name the grossest habits they see colleagues partake in, and “wiping runny nose on hand or sleeve” came in on top for 16% of employees.

These were the most disgusting habits cited overall:

Wiping runny nose on hands or sleeve – 16%
Not covering mouth/nose when sneezing – 15%
Not covering mouth when coughing – 12%
Not washing hands frequently – 9%
Leaving dirty tissues on desk – 8% 

Survey respondents also cited a hacking cough, touching common area surfaces while sick, persistent sniffling without blowing and nose blowing in general as some other gross behaviours.

Other bad habits included things like “blowing nose into the sink”, “spitting in trash can or sink” and hilariously, “the fact that they are there at all”.

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While workplaces are full of employees with bad habits, it can’t hurt to remind managers to speak up if an employee is behaving in a particularly gross way, which is distracting other employees

(Eds note: I used to work with someone who clipped their nails in the office, and I’ve recently spoken to two people who have complained about colleagues flossing at their desks. Keep it at home, people!)

When all else fails, just abide by the old adage that “the best defense is a good offense”, and arm your office with the right tools, cleaning chemicals and techniques to ensure a healthy workplace.

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