The 'gross' post-Covid habits people want banned from the workplace

Freedom Day, as it’s been dubbed, will for many mark the return to the office.

Suddenly it’s sounding a lot less freeing…

While each office will likely have its own rules in place regarding eliminating coronavirus, the reality is every individual person will also be bringing their own thoughts and attitudes to the environment too.

An already divided nation, coronavirus regulations may have deepened these cracks.

Certain things that were normal in offices pre-Covid are now up for debate – what’s a faux pas versus what’s acceptable, is going to come down to personal opinion.

A recent poll by Instantprint found that many Brits want ‘gross’ habits banned from office life – just one in 10 say they won’t be strict on colleagues.

When it comes to making physical contact, 28% of people still aren’t ready to hug their workmates and 17% aren’t ready to make hand shaking a thing again.

A third are also dreading the return of air kisses between close colleagues while 23% think high-fives should be stopped too.

People are even worried about desk swapping, with 19% concerned by the idea of sitting at another colleague’s desk. In companies that hot desk, this is part of the office culture.

Going forward, heading to work with a cold or cough will be frowned on by over a third of people who believe minor illnesses should be dealt with at home.

That goes for items deemed contaminated too – over a quarter of people don’t want their coworkers bringing used gym kits into the office.

If a lunchtime run became a part of your lockdown routine, expect looks if you make this a part of your schedule when returning to the office.

And somewhat obviously, 43% think not washing hands after using the loo should be banned, with anxiety stemming from this when it comes to communal spaces.

The dynamics around eating and drinking are clearly worrisome – 16% no longer want to share snacks in kitchens, do the communal tea-round and leave food in the workplace fridge overnight.

In a similar vein, pen chewing now alarms 25% of those polled.

Pre-lockdown, women were found to have more pet-peeves around bad office habits, but now slightly more men are concerned as 46% are worried about ‘gross behaviour’.

The pandemic has clearly changed attitudes towards hygiene in a longer term way, with less people being laissez-faire.

In terms of actually calling someone out, again men felt more able to do so with 45% saying they’ll be less tolerant, than 37% of women.

This is likely to also come down to gender politics too, given that some women might fear coming across as ‘difficult’ and that working against them in the office.

Tips for calling out unpleasant habits in the workplace

Sean Kachmarski, an author and trainer, recommends these approaches:

Keep it positive 
Whenever you address an issue with a colleague, you should keep it positive. Instead of demanding that someone goes and washes their hands, ask whether they’d like to get washed up in the kitchen together before lunch, or offer some hand sanitiser. 

Take control of your own space 
Even if you can’t influence what your colleagues are doing, you can influence what’s happening in your space (such as your desk). That includes being able to frequently wipe down your keyboard and mouse with antibacterial wipes and using hand sanitiser. 

Talk to your boss 
If your colleague’s behaviour is getting really out of control, it might be worth having your boss support you. They’ll have either been trained or have experience in setting boundaries for their team, meaning it might be more appropriate to go to the manager rather than tackling this off your own back. 

Laura Mucklow of the print company says: ‘The return to office life is obviously going to be a huge adjustment for many, especially if your team hasn’t worked face-to-face in over a year. Giving your employees everything they need to feel safe and hygienic at work is going to be key. 

‘Whether that’s making hand sanitiser readily available or encouraging them to talk through their concerns with their manager. Communication around how satisfied your team is has never been more vital than it is right now.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article