Your office might be a breeding ground for bacteria, with co-workers, customers or visitors coming and going around all day. During a normal day of work, everyone touches numerous surfaces, sharing and spreading bacteria, and if you add bad habits such as leaving unfinished take-away lunches on your desk, it is clear we are fighting germs everywhere in order to take control of our health in the workplace. And contrary to what you might think, it is not the washroom that is the most concerned area. Washing your hands and using hand disinfectants to prevent infections in shared spaces like an office is, unfortunately, something that few people do. Here is a list of all the areas of your office you need to tackle to avoid catching any sickness.
1. Coffee Pot Handle
Let’s be honest, we all need our coffee when we arrive in the morning. The problem is that many of us use public transport, touching things fully loaded with germs. And if we add the fact that we might get back to the coffee pot many times a day, sharing and spreading the bacteria on the handle over and over... For your information, there are 34 times more bacteria on the coffee pot handle of an office than on a school toilet seat.
A good way to decrease all the germs on the coffee pot is to clean it with a dishwashing product or in the dishwasher every evening.
No wonder why keyboards are a hotbed for germs, as most people keep their hands on it all day. Here the figures are alarming, as there are 400 times more bacteria on a keyboard than on an average toilet seat.
A simple tip is to never share your keyboard, and disinfect it with a surface disinfectant wipe regularly, even daily when you are sick.
3. The Office Kitchen Sponge
If you have a kitchen at the office, you may have a little sponge everyone uses … it could be really harmful! According to a study, the kitchen is the place with the most bacteria, especially on the sponge where you can find bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella which can make you sick and provoke food poisoning.
To avoid that, it is better to replace the sponge monthly, even if it doesn’t look in bad shape. Also, use it in combination with hot water and a dishwashing product, since it will reduce the germ amount on it. And whatever you do, If you drop water on your desk, better use a paper towel than the sponge! In that way, you will avoid bringing bacteria from the kitchen to your desk.
4. High-Traffic Buttons
Bacteria can live for more than 2 days on a surface, so the daily touched buttons need our attention. Here we speak mainly about switches, the copier start button, and the elevator button, as just on the last one there were found 40 times more bacteria than on a toilet seat.
A neat trick is having a pen in your pocket, so you can always press on those buttons. Don’t hesitate to ask as well your office manager if the cleaning staff is disinfecting them regularly.
Handles as well have to be taken into consideration, knowing that the ones of the office entrance doors have 2 times more bacteria than your bathroom door handle back at home. The water fountain handles also don’t have to be forgotten since they also display a significant quantity of germs.
Try to leave doors opened if feasible, so you will not have to touch the handles. Otherwise, use your elbows or your hand within a sleeve to open the doors in the building.
Maybe you or your colleague has the habit of chewing pens, but pens are actually touching germy hands all day! Chewing on a pen will, therefore, transfer bacteria and nasty germs to your mouth and, with 1 in 5 office workers admitting chewing on their pens, you probably want to avoid borrowing one from your colleagues.
So keep you stationary in your drawer and think twice before borrowing a pen. Who knows where it has been!
Micro-organisms don’t normally multiply on your desk without any help and they don’t move around by themselves. So it’s important that surfaces and objects in the office are cleaned frequently. Basic hygiene at the office can help keep germs at bay, with simple actions such as washing your hands frequently or avoiding touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Also, simple but efficient, if you are sick, stay home. But, if you really need to be at the office even though you are under the weather, coughing or sneezing, make sure to cover your mouth. Because we all deserve to enjoy a healthier and happier office environment without worrying about bacteria.