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As an employer, manager or employee, it is essential that you are aware of office areas where germs grow. This will allow you to keep your staff and visitors as safe as possible.
Have you noticed how easy it is to pick up germs in your office and how often colds and other viruses spread round the entire office? Whether they’re brought in from home or public transport, work is a great place for sharing bacteria and viruses.
Germs spread quickly from one person to the next, from stomach-churning food poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella and E coli, to viruses including coronavirus, colds and flu.
The micro-organisms that carry and cause these illnesses don’t normally multiply on your desk or chair without help. They don’t move around unless we do. So, we’re all responsible for transferring germs from one person to the next and need to be aware of this, now more than ever.
To fight back, beat the germs and take control of your health in the workplace, you need to tackle the most touched areas in the office and the areas where germs grow the fastest.
Everyone touches door handles to get around your workplace. It should therefore come as no surprise that this is one of the key office areas where germs grow.
The more people that touch the handles, the larger the variety of germs that can pass from person to person among you all. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help stop the spread, and use hand gel where available. If you have a good commercial cleaning company, their cleaning staff should be sanitising door handles as part of the daily cleaning routine.
Protective film door covers can also be installed to help protect your staff and visitors. Click here to learn more about these door handle protectors.
The average desk has around 400 times more germs than a toilet seat! That's about 21,000 bacteria, viruses, and fungi per square inch. As you've probably noticed, these little guys travel most often on your hands, moving to and from things as you touch them. That's why washing your hands often is key to stopping the spread of infections.
Regular sanitising of your office desk will help keep these numbers low.
Your office phone and computers may be even worse than your office desk, with an average of 25,000 germs per square inch. Wipe the phone down throughout the day with a sanitiser, especially if other people also use it, and the computer at the end of each day. In terms of office areas where germs grow, these two take some beating!
They may seem safe to share and not one of the obvious office areas where germs grow, especially when they have been washed and put away, but one study found that 90% of office mugs had significant germs, some with "fecal matter".
The problem probably isn't the cups themselves, or the people who use them. Odd as it sounds, a more likely explanation is that the germs transfer to the mugs from when you try to clean them with less-than-pristine supplies in a common kitchen area.
As a solution, consider bringing your own mug to work, or invest in personalised mugs for your employees that they take personal responsibility for.
Kitchen sponges are normally wet, and highly absorbent when wet. In terms of office areas where germs grow, the office sponge is a perfect place if you want to collect and nurture germs.
A quick effective fix? Blast the sponge in your microwave on high for two minutes will kill most things. Also try and make a habit of replacing your sponge at the end of every week at least.
If you were asked to name office areas where germs grow fast, the ashroom would probably be one of your first thoughts - and you would be right!
Even getting your hands clean once finished can be hard because the faucet handles and toilet door handles may be especially dirty. You could hold a paper towel in your hand when you turn the water on and off, as well as when you push the handle to flush the toilet and exit the washroom.
Perhaps not one of the office areas where germs grow that will come immediately to thought, but the risk is obvious when you think about it. If you use a lift for work each day, so will many others, with hundreds of presses of each button every day.
Be sure to wash or sanitise your hands after use, or try and press buttons using your elbow if you have sufficient skill and don't mind some odd looks!
Hopefully you are now more conscious of key office areas where germs grow fast. The best way to prevent this is to engage the services of a professional cleaning company to keep your office safe.
To learn more about Green Fox Cleaning and our skill in office cleaning, click here to learn more.