More than a third (38%) of respondents believe that they perform better when they work from home, according to research by cleaning organisation Cleanology.
Its survey of 1,056 individuals also found that 34% of respondents have noted an increase in presenteeism, with 64% feeling more pressure to attend work when they feel unwell and 21% believing they are now more prone to illness compared to a year ago.
Around half (53%) of respondents state that they have caught a cold from a colleague who should have taken a day off work, although 23% cite a dirty workplace as a reason for illness; 39% of individuals carry cleaning wipes with them, 36% feel they have to clean their desk and 30% clean the kitchen area, believing it has not been properly cleaned. Just under two-thirds (62%) admit to not being able to work to the best of their abilities when unwell.
Dominic Ponniah, chief executive officer at Cleanology, said: “Our findings raise important questions about standard work practices and whether businesses would benefit from encouraging people to work from home.
“More than half of those surveyed had caught a cold from a colleague, while 62% agreed that they are not able to work to the best of their abilities when they are sick. Respondents felt guilty for coming to work coughing and sneezing.”
Respondents cited the top reasons behind making them feel unwell as sick colleagues (66%), dirty toilets (28%) and computer keyboards (24%).
Ponniah added: “While only a quarter of people blamed a dirty workplace for catching an illness, two out of five carry cleaning wipes. For us, this is a telling insight into the standard of cleaning in many workplaces. For employers, it must also raise questions about the link between cleanliness in the workplace and productivity.”