Since the pandemic, we’ve all become much more aware of hygiene. As more of us return to the workplace, it’s important to be clued up on the germ hotspots in a typical office, and what we can do to keep our teams safe and workplaces clean.
Your workplace may appear clean, but bacteria and viruses can build up quickly, especially on frequently-touched surfaces. These aren’t always the most obvious of places – here’s our list of the top ten germ hotspots in the office:
Top 10 germ hotspots in the office include…
As a piece of communal equipment that’s likely to be used by most people in the office, printers can be a breeding ground for bacteria – especially the buttons and touchpad!
To keep your printer as clean as possible, provide hand sanitiser for people to use before and after touching the printer, and make sure to regularly clean and disinfect all touchable surfaces of the equipment.
2. Desk phones
We tend to touch our phones a lot during the day – and often, we’ll pick up our colleagues’ phones too! As phones come into close contact with our faces, it’s important to clean the handset and buttons thoroughly.
3. Keyboard and mouse
A study on hygiene in the workplace found an average of 3000 micro-organisms per square inch on keyboards, and 1600 per square inch on a computer mouse!
With lots of workplaces offering hot-desking, desks should be a key part of your office cleaning routine. Make sure to move the keyboard and clean underneath it, and provide plenty of office bins to avoid litter and tissues gathering on desks.
If you eat at your desk, make sure to wash your hands before eating, move your keyboard out of the way to avoid catching crumbs in it, and ideally wipe your desk over afterwards with an antibacterial wipe.
Remember to keep your office kitchens and bathrooms well-stocked with anti-bacterial handwash to encourage proper hand hygiene within your team.
4. Door handles
Door handles are a real hotspots for germs in the workplace – being touched so frequently, by so many different people, they are a high-risk area to concentrate on when cleaning an office.
If you are able to install automatic or card-activated doors, this can be a real help. If not, brush up on your handle hygiene and make to clean them regularly and thoroughly!
You might want to think twice before chewing on a pen nowadays, or borrowing a calculator from a colleague! If you have to swap stationery, give it a wipe over with an anti-bacterial wipe before using… and try to keep it out of your mouth.
Research shows that the average desks is home to more germs than a toilet seat..!
Without good handwashing hygiene and tidy office practices, a desk can become a breeding ground for bacteria – especially if people have a cough or cold. Keep things clean by encouraging regular desk tidying sessions, and provide easily-accessible cleaning equipment to help your team to keep their desks hygienic.
No one loves doing the office washing up – and if you don’t have a dishwasher, then chances are your workplace crockery isn’t as clean as it could be.
Communal mugs increases the likelihood of transmitting viruses around a team; encourage everyone to use their own personal mugs and glasses, and to wash them up at the end of each day.
It’s second nature to drop your bag on your desk in the morning and unpack your things – but where else has the bottom of your bag been recently?
From toilet floors and pavement kerbs to gym changing rooms and bus stop benches, the underside of our bags can get pretty grubby! Keeping some handy sanitising products near your desk can help to keep your bag (and your desk) clean.
9. The fridge
The average fridge is said to host more than 7800 bacteria per square centimetre. When it comes to storing food, you want things clean!
Frequent touching coupled with forgotten food (especially over weekends and holidays!) can make workplace fridges a hotbed for germs. Keep things clean by using antibacterial wipes around the inside of the fridge and external handles ever couple of days, and giving it a full empty and deep clean each month. Having a regular ‘use it or lose it’ purging policy can also help to discourage people from leaving old food in the fridge – freeing up space, and reducing the risk of mould or bacteria growing.
It’s also important to pay attention to any areas where people prep food (including the microwave!).
10. Lift buttons
Easy to overlook when you’re whizzing around the office cleaning, the entryways to our workspaces also need attention too! Lift buttons, intercoms and entry bells all make contact with lots of hands throughout the day – don’t forget to add them to your list when sanitising your office!
With so many elements to consider, keeping an office clean and hygienic is no mean feat! If you’d like some help from the experts, get in touch with us today to discuss how our reliable team can support you with your commercial cleaning needs.