SCA Hygiene Matters 2014 Consumer Survey Identifies Americans' Everyday Sanctuary: Workplace Restrooms

Global Survey Reveals Secrets of Workplace Stalls. America's Favorite Odd Bathroom Behavior is Eating.

11 Nov, 2014, 09:00 ET from SCA Americas

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Do you know what is happening in the stall next to you? A new consumer study released today by leading global hygiene and forest products company, SCA, shows a surprising number of Americans have used their workplace restrooms for more than they were intended. Some of the oddest activities identified by the 2014 SCA Hygiene Matters Consumer Survey were eating (8 percent), exercising (7 percent), smoking (5 percent) and sleeping (5 percent) – all of which men are more likely to do than women.

One quarter of Americans say they have used their bathroom at work to text (25 percent) and nearly as many have gone there to talk on the phone (23 percent), according to the survey.

For many people, the workplace restroom is a personal sanctuary and safe place. Women are more likely than men to say they have gone there to deal with the frustration of everyday work life  (23 vs 17 percent), whereas men are more likely to say they have used the space to spend a moment alone or get space from colleagues (21 vs 18 percent). An average of 10 percent of all adults has used their workplace bathroom to take a break to cry, including 6 percent of men and 14 percent of women. 

"SCA's product solutions focus on health and hygiene, which is why we're committed to raising hygiene standards and awareness worldwide," said Amy Bellcourt, Vice President Communications, SCA Americas. "This survey uncovers surprising behaviors in the American workplace. It proves the importance of maintaining clean and comfortable restrooms for employees' physical and mental health."

SCA regularly conducts its global Hygiene Matters Survey to gauge public awareness and concerns about hygiene standards around the world.

Additional findings from the survey relating to hygiene in U.S. workplaces include:

  • When asked about poor hygiene in public places, 11 percent of adults believe the workplace exposes people to the greatest health risks.
  • Nearly half of Americans (42 percent) say they never wash their hands after arriving at work
  • Ten percent of people only sometimes wash their hands after using the toilet, with one percent admitting they never do
  • Just roughly 15 percent of people say they would tell a work colleague if they had poor personal hygiene

Among all the countries surveyed by SCA in the study, the United States has the most satisfied workers when it comes to workplace restrooms (87 percent). In fact, more than one in ten Americans (13 percent) say they actually prefer using the restrooms at their work over the toilet in their own home. However, nearly one quarter of all Americans (24 percent) say they prefer not to use the restrooms where they work, and more than a third (36 percent) wish their employer would pay more attention to their facilities.

Countries topping the list of the most unsatisfied workers were China (25 percent) and Italy (23 percent), with the Chinese and Russians being the most likely to wish their employer would do more to improve restroom facilities in the workplace (84 percent and 63 percent, respectively). 

To learn more about hygiene in the workplace visit the Tork® Better Business Center. To learn more about SCA hygiene products, including its Tork® and TENA® brands visit

About the 2014 SCA Hygiene Matters Survey
The 2014 SCA Hygiene Matters Survey was conducted for SCA by business intelligence firm United Minds and research company Cint. The survey was conducted online in May 2014 and polled a total of 13,000 respondents age 18 and older, from 13 countries. In the United States, a representative sample of 1,058 adult respondents was surveyed. To ensure the samples representativeness in regards to the total population, the number of invites to the survey were sent out to match the real distribution of, for example, men and women in each country. For more information visit,

About SCA
Globally, SCA is a leading hygiene and forest products company. We develop and produce sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products. Sales are conducted in about 100 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and many regional brands. As Europe's largest private forest owner, we put great emphasis on sustainable forest management. SCA has about 44,000 employees. Sales in 2013 amounted to $14.2 billion. SCA was founded in 1929, has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm stock exchange. More information at

In North America, SCA produces the Tork® line of dispensers, towels, tissue, soap, napkins and wipers used in commercial settings such as office buildings, restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities and the TENA® line of incontinence care products used by consumers at home and in healthcare facilities. TENA and Tork are the global leading brands in their categories. For more information, visit

For additional information, please contact:
Amy Bellcourt, VP of Communications, 518-369-8880,
Jeanette Doherty, Weber Shandwick, 212-445-8242,