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Remote workers developing unsanitary habits; 7 in 10 admit working from toilet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Working from home has some Americans seriously slacking when it comes to hygiene.

Scientists at CraftJack conducted a nationwide survey consisting of 1,255 men and women between the ages of 25 and 65 years old. All respondents worked on-site prior to the pandemic, but now work remotely. 

Findings revealed 66% of respondents show up to virtual meetings without brushing their teeth, 60% admit they work from the toilet at least once per week, and 50% say they’ve worn the same underwear two days in a row.

Below are some other report highlights as well as a Q&A with COO/Founder of CraftJack, Noah Mishkin.

What inspired your company to do this study?

The pandemic changed the way millions of Americans do their jobs. We are now two years in, and for many – the work-from-home trend is here to stay. It’s natural that people are not fussing with all the hygiene details they once did while they were still going into the office, but we wanted a better look at just how far some remote workers have let things slide.

Is this an example of hygiene fatigue since we’ve been so vigilant for the past two years?

We have heard doctors and other medical experts warn about the dangers of “pandemic fatigue,” and the results of this survey show “hygiene fatigue” could be impacting Americans as well. When the pandemic started, most people were a little more vigilant about personal hygiene and keeping their homes clean and sanitized. But it can be a lot of extra work, and after two years of heightened concern, it’s no surprise that many are starting to feel exhausted and burned out with some of those extra cleanliness measures they once took.

What are the benefits/drawbacks of these behaviors as we move towards the end of the pandemic?

Some of the personal hygiene habits Americans admit neglecting could be creating bad habits in the long run and make an eventual transition back to an office setting more difficult. A few years ago, we would have never dreamed of going to a meeting without brushing our teeth, showering, or wearing pajamas… but the survey results show that some of these habits have become the norm for many people across the country. We will have to wait and see if there are any benefits to these new habits Americans picked up. We know 92% say they wear less makeup while working remotely, and 65% say they shave/trim their facial hair less frequently. It will be interesting to see if those are trends that stick around as people begin returning to the office.

How difficult will it be to break some of these bad habits?

These habits can be extremely difficult to break, and some could take a toll on mental health and productivity. Perhaps the most concerning is the increase in people who say they are not washing their hands after using the restroom, and those who admit to being comfortable while working on the toilet (73% say they have, 25% admit to doing it daily).