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What Office Tenants Really Want

May 7, 2010
A new survey probes office tenants' feelings about the bathrooms in their buildings

When it comes to the restroom, office tenants’ aspirations are pretty modest. What they want is a sparkling-clean, odor-free environment.

Those were the results of a new survey conducted by Infogroup/ORC on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional, which found that six in 10 office workers long for a clean bathroom at work.

Sadly, the actual condition of office restrooms generally doesn’t meet these expectations. When selecting from a list of choices:

  • Only 38 percent of respondents described their workplace restrooms as “always being super-clean.” 
  • 26 percent described a situation that was far more precarious. Visiting the restroom was “a 50-50 gamble; sometimes clean, other times a disaster.”  
  • 25 percent said the bathrooms at their offices were not as clean as those in their homes.
  • 7 percent said they found all public restrooms “basically disgusting,” because the thought of other people using the facilities simply grossed them out. 
  • On a good note, only 1 percent worried about “catching the crud.”

In the absence of direct action to change these behaviors, what do office workers think building management should do to create a more hygienic environment? The top choice was installing automated hand sanitizers throughout the building, according to 67 percent of respondents. Eleven (11) percent opted for a different approach: Offering cash rewards and prizes for good hygiene practices, such as washing up after every restroom visit or covering your nose when you sneeze. A much smaller number selected more draconian measures, such as banishing sick workers from the building (5 percent) or hiring a washroom hygiene “cop” to stock supplies and yell at people who didn’t wash their hands (5 percent).

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