Have you ever considered that there are places and objects around you where germs hide in plain sight? A recent study found that a working adult touches as many as 30 contaminated objects every 60 seconds. This points to something we might not take seriously, beyond keeping our workspaces clean – office hygiene.
One more ‘fun’ fact: The toilet seat has 41 germs per square inch while desktops have 21,000 germs per square inch.
Wow. Now considering that we touch things deemed ‘harmless’ before touching our faces and food, we can only imagine what we let in or pass on.
Since the office is an enclosed environment, where people work and interact with one another in proximity, there’s a higher risk of spreading germs. This can quickly lead to localized outbreaks of illnesses like cold or even food poisoning among a larger number of people.
5 most infested office areas
- Office kitchen sink-faucet handles
- Microwave and refrigerator door handles
- Office desk and computer keyboards
- Office door handles
- Light switches
What can you do?
Our hands are responsible for the spread of 80% of common infectious diseases. Therefore, effective hand hygiene is the smartest means of infection control in the workplace.
Precautions to take
Clean your keyboard
Most office cleaning companies would clean the desks and surrounding areas while avoiding computers or keyboards because they don’t want to risk damaging office equipment. Hygiene, in this case, is usually left to the employee, and many don’t bother. You can use an alcohol-based sanitiser to clean your keyboard; just use a cloth and don’t let it drip into any openings.
Protect your face
Office workers touch their faces an average of 18 times an hour. Every time we do this, we risk carrying the invisible germs from our keyboards, desktops, or phones right to our respiratory and digestive systems every three and a half minutes. Bacteria and viruses couldn’t ask for a better transportation system, with you being their driver.
Dispose of unwanted food
A lot of workers often eat at their desks or store food and snacks in the drawer. This makes it possible for crumbs to accumulate and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Littered work areas can pose hazards to a worker’s health, so it is important to clean as frequently as possible or avoid storing food in your desk altogether.
Remember, being hygiene-conscious is one of the keys to staying healthy. Regardless of where you are, taking the above measures will keep you from falling sick.