Lefties get left behind in UK SMEs

One in five employees experience problems at work because they’re left-handed, according to a survey ahead of National Left Handers Day which reveals the extent of the problem for southpaws.

CV-Library, the UK’s largest job board, has revealed how a large proportion of UK employees experience problems at work because they are left-handed. The news comes ahead of the UK’s ‘National Left-Handers Day’, which takes place today and aims to raise awareness of the everyday issues ‘lefties’ face in a world that is designed for right-handers.

left handed mouse

The survey, which was conducted amongst over 2,400 UK employees, discovered that 12% of the working population is left-handed, which equates to over 4.5 million staff. Of those, 1 in 5 (over 852,000 people) face practical problems at work just because they are left-handed.

Other key survey findings revealed:

  • The majority of UK employers (96.7%) don’t ask new employees if they are left-handed.
  • Only a quarter of businesses (25.4%) provide left-handed staff with specialist office equipment and stationery.
  • 82.4% of employees believe that employers have a duty of care to ensure left-handed staff have adequate tools in the workplace.
  • A further 5% of the UK’s working population is ambidextrous, and would like the choice of left or right-handed equipment.

Furthermore, it seems that the changes businesses can make to overcome these problems are small and uncostly. For office workers in particular, specially designed left-handed stationery, keyboards, scissors and other computer accessories are readily available at reasonable costs, leaving little excuse for employers not to provide satisfactory equipment for their staff.

Keith Milsom, owner of ‘Anything Left Handed’ and initiator of National Left-Handers Day, says, “Left-Handers face real, practical challenges at work, from conducting simple tasks, such as having to use right-handed scissors that don’t cut, to persevering with entire workstations being laid out incorrectly, making them difficult and uncomfortable to use. Unfortunately, we know that, due to the fact that most employers are right-handed themselves, they often fail to realise the problems this can cause. Luckily, those who are left-handed have learnt to adapt in many situations, but this shouldn’t be the answer to the problem.”

Lee Biggins, founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, concludes, “Businesses need to provide staff with the right tools to do the job. Most professional organisations should already be conducting work-station assessments for all of their employees and this should form a simple part of that process. It is within a company’s interest to quickly identify an employee’s needs and provide suitable equipment so they are able to work effectively. This will not only improve productivity, but also makes each team member feel valued and cared for, which is important in the workplace.”

To find out more about National Left-Handers Day, see

For details on the types of specialist tools available for left-handers, see

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