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Bits ‘N Pieces

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Making a habit of it

When your employees go to the restroom, do you know what they are doing in there? It might not be what you think.

According to a study by SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, employees are using workplace restrooms for more than their intended purpose.

According to the online survey, which polled 13,000 respondents ages 18 and older from 13 countries, workers retreat to the restroom for the following activities.

  • 25 percent use the restroom to text
  • 23 percent talk on the phone
  • 23 percent of women and 17 percent of men retreat to deal with the frustration of work
  • 21 percent of women and 18 percent of men go to get away from co-workers and get some alone time
  • 14 percent of women and 6 percent of men have gone there to cry
  • 8 percent eat
  • 7 percent exercise
  • 5 percent smoke
  • 5 percent sleep

In addition, when U.S. workers were asked about hygiene in the workplace:

  • 42 percent said they never wash their hands after arriving at work
  • 10 percent sometimes wash their hands after using the toilet; 1 percent said they never do
  • 15 percent would tell a work colleague if he or she had poor personal hygiene
  • 13 percent prefer using the restrooms at their work over their own home
  • 24 percent prefer not to use the restrooms where they work
  • 36 percent wish their employer would pay more attention to their facilities

Gearing up for health care compliance

By 2016, smaller employers — those with 50 to 99 employees — will be required to provide health benefits to their employees. And while those with 100 or more are required to provide coverage to at least 70 percent of their employees this year, that number rises to 95 percent in 2016.

Employers should start researching their options now and be aware of the requirements when considering plans. Many are choosing to offer higher deductible plans, which reduced costs up front but can become a problem for employees having to pay the deductible. Others are trying to offset some of that increased expense by offering health savings accounts and employee wellness programs.

Whichever path you choose, it is critical that you remain compliant to avoid incurring the penalties and fees that accrue for noncompliance.

Are your employees happy?

Nearly 25 percent of U.S. workers say they don’t trust their employer and just 50 percent believe their employer is open and upfront with them, according to the American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-Being Survey.

The survey also found that:

  • Just 49 percent are satisfied with growth and development opportunities
  • 47 percent are satisfied with employee recognition and rewards
  • 31 percent report typically feeling tense and stressed out at work due to low salaries, lack of opportunity, unclear expectations, job insecurity and long hours
  • 27 percent plan to seek new employment in the next year