The office workplace is a hotbed of activity; buzzing with energy and noise from workers getting through their daily workload. As there’s so much going on, maintaining a clean office space may take a backseat.
Germs and bacteria can build up and spread if you don’t keep up regular cleaning in your working areas, leaving you and your colleagues at risk of illness. And with the average desk housing more than 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat, it’s clear how important a clean office desk and workplace is.
It’s not just a dirty office desk that’s putting you at risk either – your workplace could be filled with multiple germ hotspots.
What are some of the most surprising germ hotspots in your office?
Your mouse and keyboard…
Many employees spend their day working away at their computer, with a large proportion also happy to stay in the vicinity to chow down on lunch. A dirty mouse and keyboard can harbour around 7,500 germs – which means a working lunch may actually be doing more harm than good.
Before eating you should always wash and dry your hands, whether you’re in the office or at home. Studies have shown that practising good hand hygiene, especially after using the toilet and before eating, can reduce illness by as much as 50%.
Antibacterial hand wash is an essential in any bathroom and kitchen in order to fight germs, so make sure your workplace is properly stocked up.
It’s easy to come into work on a morning, put your bag on your desk and start unpacking your equipment. But have you ever thought about how many germs are lurking on the underside of your bag?
Whether placed on the ground outside or on the floor of a toilet, it’s little wonder that bags can collect so many germs – this might make you think twice about putting it on top of your desk while you’re loading in and out.
Keeping some multi-purpose cleaner and a few cloths nearby will mean you can quickly spritz and wipe away any germs or harmful bacteria from your desk.
The office fridge…
Arriving at work and putting your lunch in the fridge is an everyday occurrence for many members of staff. And it comes as no surprise that things are often left forgotten in there – leading to the presence of mouldy yoghurts and things which may once have been sandwiches.
The average fridge is said to contain more than 7,800 bacteria colony-forming units per square centimetre, according to research by Hassle.com. With bacteria being able to thrive, a top office kitchen cleaning tip is to wipe out your fridge every two days. A heavy duty cleaner or a multi-purpose cleaner is perfect for wiping out fridges.
It’s also essential to wipe down any areas where food prep takes place, and to provide everyone with access to washing up liquid and any other cleaning equipment so everyone can chip in with cleaning.
Whether you’re greeting clients or saying ‘hello’ to friends, introductions are generally made with a handshake. But a study conducted in both the US and the UK found that you are more likely to spread viruses by shaking hands than by kissing.
Again, this highlights the need for good hand hygiene, but it’s not just washing your hands you need to take into account – drying them is just as important. Paper towels are essential around the office. Hand towels are said to remove the bacteria while drying, and over 60% of Europeans prefer to use them over hand dryers, so make sure they’re always in stock.
Calling the lift or opening the door…
While shaking others’ hands can cause the spread of germs and viruses, so can touching communal objects. Door handles, lift buttons and phones tend to carry germs which could cause illness.
When wiping down a keyboard or computer mouse, it’s also worth giving your phone a wipe and any door handles nearby. A multi-purpose cleaner and a stack of cloths can prove useful in combatting germs and bacteria.
Follow these quick and easy office cleaning tips, and you and your colleagues could be on your way to a cleaner office space.