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Survey shows unclean toilets carry consequences for UAE business owners
According to a national survey, nearly 70% of Emiratis who have experienced unpleasant public toilet conditions report leaving the premises without completing their intended business, will think twice about returning or will never return.
Magnifying the problem, more than 60% of respondents say they told someone else, posted a comment on social media or complained to management. Such findings indicate undesirable toilet experiences prove costly for business.
The survey also found that unpleasant toilet conditions may be a prevalent issue for a number of business owners, as more than two-thirds of Emiratis have had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public toilet due to the condition of the facilities. Water on the floor, a bad smell and an old, dirty or unkempt appearance top the list of problems experienced in UAE toilets.
The results are part of the second annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted in the UAE by Bradley Corporation, a leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, partition cubicles, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. In 2014 and 2015, the online survey was fielded in early May.
When asked what they would most like to see improved with public toilets, cleanliness is the most mentioned improvement, while having to walk across a wet floor is named as the action that makes the majority of public toilet users extremely or very frustrated.
"Our survey underscores the fact that objectionable restroom experiences create damaging and lasting impressions that make it hard for businesses to recover in the minds of consumers," says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development for Bradley Corporation.
"Regular cleaning and stocking, offering easy-to-use touch-free fixtures, and creating a welcoming environment can help ensure users have a good experience."
The quest for cleaner public toilet environments may explain why respondents rank toilet entrance door handles, cubicle door handles and sinks as the top three surfaces they dislike touching. In fact, the majority of Emiratis employ a variety of techniques to avoid germs in a public toilet. Some 67% use a paper towel so they don't have to touch the door handle, toilet flusher or faucet handle. Others open and close toilet doors with their hip while some operate cubicle latches with their elbow.
Germ avoidance also carries over into the workplace. A total of 82% of respondents say they consciously take steps to limit exposure to a sick colleague's germs by using a few different strategies. They avoid the sick colleague, abstain from shaking that person's hand and wash their own hands more frequently.
Coming into contact with germs in certain types of facilities also weighs on the mind of Emiratis. Restaurants, healthcare facilities and malls or shopping areas are the places they are most concerned about somebody not washing their hands.
The Healthy Hand Washing Survey queried 571 adults in May, 2015 about their hand washing habits in public toilets. Participants were from around the UAE, 18-plus years of age, and were split between men (48%) and women (52%).
For more than 90 years, Bradley Corporation has designed and manufactured public facility hand washing and sanitaryware, and today is the industry's comprehensive source for plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, toilet cubicles, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. Headquartered in Wisconsin/USA, Bradley serves the airport/transportation, industrial, healthcare, recreation, religious facility, stadium, education, and corrections markets worldwide.
T: +1414- 530-0844
9th July 2015