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Smelly colleagues are workers’ biggest bugbears

Friday 16 November 2012

An online survey into work hygiene by jobs website NationaleVacaturebank.nl shows that colleagues who smell of sweat are the number one irritant, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

Second on the list are colleagues who don’t wash their hands after a visit to the toilet, third is bad breath, fourth is making sounds while eating and fifth, sniffing and blowing your nose too loudly.

Office hygiene also leaves much to be desired, the survey showed. More than half the 1,100 people who responded said they never cleaned their desk.

This may explain why four out of 10 have seen a mouse at work and almost one in 10 had witnessed cockroaches, the Telegraaf said.

What's your biggest bugbear in terms of office hygiene? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

This is partly true.I work with dutch colleagues(though I'm not dutch) and most of them dont take shower regularly but use deodorants.I have come to the conclusion that the dutch fear water despite being experts on water management!

By Kijana Machachari | 16 November 2012 9:47 AM

oh no? so all the great deodorants of the uniliever dont work?

how about importing some Old Spice?

By dork | 16 November 2012 10:24 AM

Only a little exposure to cheaper perfumes or too much of expensive scents can give me a splitting headache. If you can smell your own perfume you have put on way too much.

By Puck | 16 November 2012 10:56 AM

Sweat? Really?
This is not a tropical country. Am sure nobody sweats buckets and goes to office with dripping underarms. Seriously, since when is smelling like a human outlawed? Since when did it become ok to be ridiculed for not smelling like roses or musk?
Companies that make perfumes and deodorants are teaching us that we have to smell good at all times. This is why people are obligated to pour a spray of chemicals into the lymph nodes every morning. Not very good in the long run.
People, its ok to smell like people!!

By sds | 16 November 2012 11:53 AM

Regarding smelly colleagues, contrary to common perceptions, this is unfortunately not just a masculine problem. Some of the worst offenders in my workplace are young ladies.

By Nika | 16 November 2012 11:58 AM

Office hygiene, what's that?

If you think office hygiene is negligible, try the cafe..(Customers coming from the toilet, unwashed hands & then eating the complementary snacks on the bar.) A few years ago I read a survey about this. Peanuts were removed from a bar and analyzed in a lab..28 types of urine & 8 types of feces were found, OMG!

'Good way to check on office hygiene, pick someones PC keyboard up, turn upside down & shake!

(Tip: if your mouse or keyboard fails, take apart, scrape out the old chocolate & breadcrumbs, saves buying a new one!) :)

By The visitor | 16 November 2012 12:28 PM

It's not only office hygiene that leaves much to be desired, its also hygiene in restaurants where you have waitress handling menus, setting the table,then your food, then handling your money all without washing their hands; not to mention sneezing/coughing without covering their month.

By dee | 16 November 2012 3:24 PM

I am now retired, but when I was at work I knew a man who smelled of sweat, he also NEVER washed his hands after visiting the toilet, he also had bad breath, he smoked 40 cigarettes a day (this was in the 1980's) and sometimes visited the pub at lunch time. While eating he also made loud sounds, in fact he was the least popular man in our workplace.

By almorr | 16 November 2012 5:16 PM

Smelly colleagues definately my worst work experience. A colleague is an outdoor guy & bikes the 10 miles to work. But is wearing same clothes on bike every day & doesn't wash at work showers before he changes. He lives alone so no partner to make him think!

By Anders | 17 November 2012 12:42 PM

I once had an overweight colleague, who I think had a bad sweat problem because of her weight problem. This caused her feet to smell really badly, and with the open shoes she always wore, you could smell her feet from the other side of the table. When we sat in a meeting everyone around the table would be secretly communicating with each other about how bad her feet smelled. We always thought she was oblivious to the smell, and often wondered if someone should tell her, but decided that would be rude and hurt her feelings.

By A Nonny Mouse | 18 November 2012 8:16 AM

I work in an office where we have flex workplaces. One of our colleagues picks his nose and wipes it off under the table. Lets just say he's the only guy that uses that place..... He also arrives most days stinking of BO. It really makes me wonder what his wife has to put up with at home. I have no problem with people being a bit ripe at the end of the day but I think they should arrive fresh smelling.

By DJ | 18 November 2012 9:22 AM

Hey sms! Unlike the apes, people have evolved to do better, know better, and..smell better. It's the 21st century and everybody in this country has access to running water, soap, and deodorant.

By M | 18 November 2012 11:50 AM

@sds: I agree with your comment: the unnecessary cosmetics used by the masses actually destroy the natural layer of protective bacteria.. Other than a simple bar of soap, shampoo & toothpaste, nothing else should be used. Anymore than this is the same as a phony insurance policy.

Another reason that people get a heavy BO is due to diet: too much processed/junk food, excess red meat, garlic & onion :(

If you stop watching TV & learn to think 'outside the box', you might start smelling like a human again & not a mini sewer!

By The visitor | 18 November 2012 1:36 PM

My #1 annoyance is people wearing parfume and such.

The mentioned things are easily avoided or are only rarely seen (sweat's rarely the case here, a bad breath can be avoided since it's just a small "line" of stench, etc), but parfumes... Under normal circumstances, I don't smell people, but parfumes, I smell ALL the time. And I just can't see what people think smells nice about it, as I just can't stand it.

By Someone | 18 November 2012 4:17 PM

"Comoanies that make perfumes are teaching us that we should smell like roses"??? I'm sorry but when did water, soap and toothpaste became fancy routines? My family members smell like humans, we don't use perfume, we just take showers. Yes, daily. Yes, with soap. And I also do laundry. Perfumes and deorodants to cover BO when people don't take shower or wears same dirty shirt for several days is even worst.

By AMaria | 18 November 2012 4:48 PM

Even if the Dutch would take showers regularly, they simply do not use soap.

By Marc André | 18 November 2012 8:46 PM

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