Many people aren’t aware of how much bacteria gets transferred from the simple act of handwashing. It sounds counterintuitive, but not even those who wash their hands properly are safe from the germs clogging up sinks and paper towel dispensers. A survey for ASM’s Clean Hands Campaign revealed that only 67% of people wash their hands after using the restroom—making that a whopping 33% left to spread bacteria on the surfaces diligent hand-washers are using.

That doesn’t mean people should give up hygiene entirely. Touchless dispensers have been shown to significantly improve a variety of factors, not the least of which is how much bacteria gets spread around the workplace. We recommend using touchless dispensers in the office for the following reasons.

People Are More Likely to Sanitize

Yes, that’s right. Studies show that a lack of touchless dispensers actually increases the chances of people forgoing washing their hands to protect themselves from lingering bacteria. A specific study by Larson et al. found that touchless dispensers were used almost twice as much as manual dispensers. Similar studies concluded that hygiene compliance increased with the presence of a touchless dispenser. While this doesn’t mean everyone will sanitize, it does protect those who do wash from leftover germs, as well as increase overall comfort in the office.

You’re Preventing Others From Getting Sick

It probably comes as no surprise that hands-free sanitation is also proven to reduce the number of bacteria hanging out on hard surfaces. Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, Tucson, notes, “Touchless technology is a good idea because hard surfaces are significant transfer points for bacteria and viruses.” It’s impossible to monitor everyone that goes in and out of a restroom to make sure they’re washing their hands, and no one has time to wipe surfaces every time someone touches them. Make life a little easier by providing touchless dispensers throughout the office so employees can take hygiene into their own hands.

It’s Easy and Fun to Use

Fun might not be the word that immediately comes to mind when talking about hygiene, but the ease of use and fun of using a touchless dispenser are a couple of reasons cited for the increased sanitizer usage after installing one. Not only do staff members feel safer using a hands-free dispenser, but the sheer convenience of this option (with all its minimized hygiene steps) encourages employees and customers alike to take the two seconds to cleanse their hands and prevent the spread of germs.

Using touchless dispensers in the office is one of the many ways we can minimize the risk of illness to our employees and the general public. Not only does it encourage better hygiene among the large percentage who do not adhere to best practices, but it also protects those who are at risk from having to touch too many communal surfaces. Touchless dispensers are simple to use and provide people with a better sense of security, contributing to a happier and cleaner environment.