Ewww… desks are dirtier than toilet seats
The typical employee’s desk has more bacteria per square centimetre than an office toilet seat. Desks, phones and other private surfaces are also prime habitats for the viruses and bacteria that cause colds, the flu, strep throat, pneumonia and other illnesses. Ewwwww.
Even if you keep your desk tidy, it may not be clean. Unlike toilets—which tend to be cleaned regularly—keyboards, phone receivers and desks rarely receive a wipe-down. Consider this: Crumbs and coffee spills are capable of supporting mini ecosystems. Without a cleaning, even a small area on your desk or phone can sustain millions of bacteria that could potentially cause illness.
The good news:
Heightened awareness and hygiene efforts can go a long way in keeping your office clean. Regular cleaning of personal and shared workspaces is essential in maintaining sanitary safety. Germ-busting in the office is a team effort, so make sure everyone gets involved.
Germ Hot Spots
- Keyboard and mouse
- Doorknobs, elevator buttons and light switches
- Vending machine buttons
- Fax, printer and copy machines
- Water fountain handles and water cooler spigots
- Microwave door handles
- Bathroom door handles and taps
- Chair armrests
- Pens and other shared office items
- Escalator and elevator handrails
Getting Rid of Germs
The good news: heightened awareness and hygiene efforts can go a long way in helping keep your office safer. Keep the following points in mind and share them with your co-workers:
- Germ-busting at the office is a team effort! It only takes one person to infect healthy co-workers.
- Regular cleaning of personal workspaces (desk, phone, keyboard, etc.) kills bacteria, stopping the spread of germs.
- Frequent cleaning of shared workspaces (door handles, coffee pots, light switches, taps, office equipment, etc.) is essential in maintaining sanitary safety. Disinfection is the goal, so be sure to use a true disinfectant, not simply an antibacterial product. Daily disinfection reduces bacteria levels by 99 per cent, drastically lowering the risk of illness.
- Be considerate of others and cough or sneeze into tissues, your sleeve or the crook of your arm. Wash your hands often and sanitize using alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel. Consider having these items on-hand at your desk and in any common areas, including kitchens and washrooms.