Is your workplace dangerously dirty? If your employees are always taking sick days and illnesses spread through your office faster than wildfire, chances are your staff aren’t the only ones hard at work.
Office environments can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, the most common of which can live on surfaces much longer than you’d think. In addition to proper hand-washing techniques, cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces and areas within your office can help keep your workspace germ (and worry) free.
Ever wonder how clean your office is? Some of the dirtiest spots just might surprise you.
1. The Kitchen:
Bacteria and micro-organisms thrive on commonly used surfaces like refrigerator and microwave handles, buttons, faucets, coffee pots and kitchen sponges, whose warm, moist environment makes them an ideal oasis for bacteria and the worst offenders of all.
2. The Phone:
According to a workplace germ study led by researchers at the University of Arizona, the telephone is the most contaminated spot in the workplace with 25,127 germs per square inch – that’s more than 500 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
3. The Desk:
Think you have a neat and tidy desk? Think again. A whopping 20,961 germs per square inch live on the average office desk. Keyboards (3,295 germs per square inch) and computer mice (1,676 germs per square inch) are some of the worst offenders and should be cleaned daily – especially if you eat at your workspace.
4. The Door Handle:
Think for a moment about how many times you go in and out of your office every single day, and then think about every other person who also touches the handle to your office door.
5. The Photocopier:
While some might argue the photocopier is one of the cleanest spots in the workspace, they’re not totally in the clear. Photocopier buttons themselves still contain 69 microbes per square inch and while that’s far less than other hot spots, they should not escape a routine clean.
6. The Elevator Button:
Research has shown that elevator buttons are also home to more bacteria than the average toilet seat, averaging 313 colony forming units (CFUs) per square centimetre, the most common of which are E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
7. The Bathroom:
It might not be the dirtiest place on our list, but the bathroom should certainly not be ignored, even if it’s only used by a small number of people.
The bottom line? It’s the little things that count. Disinfecting your workspace can help reduce illness causing microorganism by more than 99%, even in the most heavily contaminated hot spots. In fact, areas that are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis have far less germs and bacteria than those that are not.
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