We spend a lot of time at the office every day. That’s why, just like home, it is important to consider the hygiene standards of our workplace. In the midst of a global pandemic, the importance of good workplace hygiene is more important than ever and an essential part of being a good boss.
Most offices try to keep their carpets clean and the desks organized so that employees can sit and work comfortably. However, there are other parts of the office where dust and dirt can accumulate which can often be forgotten. In this article, we will discuss some of the areas of office hygiene that are often overlooked, but that are critically important.
1. Furniture and upholstery
You may find your desk and chair clean when you walk inside your office room every morning. But what about the other furniture in the office? For example, the filing cabinets, storage closets, or the leather couch in the waiting room often go under the radar and dirt starts to accumulate.
If this furniture and upholstery are dark in color, then the dirt can go unnoticed for a long time. Over time, you will see that the furniture is becoming dirty. Even more importantly, bacteria can start to grow these areas and later spread throughout the office.
Cubicle partitions are another commonly overlooked area. It’s important to clean these partitions as they are items that are commonly touched by employees while talking to others and they may transfer germs and dirt they have on their hands.
2. Door handles
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re now well aware of the importance of sanitizing door handles. Before this year, however, door handles were rarely cleaned in offices. Door handles are touched by lots of people throughout the day and germs may easily spread if the door handles are not cleaned or sanitized regularly. This is unfortunately exacerbated by the human habit of frequently touching our face, mouth, or nose unnecessarily, so when we touch the door handle we picking up these germs, then touch our face and transfer the infection to our bodies.
3. Window blinds or curtains
Though windows are most often cleaned regularly, window blinds or curtains are often overlooked unless there are any visible stains. These should be cleaned regularly otherwise germs will build up and may affect the quality of the air inside the office. Additionally, if you don’t clean them for a long time, they may become damaged or develop tough stains that will be impossible to remove, meaning you will end up needing expensive replacements.
We remember to clean our desk every day, but we often forget to clean our computer. This is a big mistake considering that we spend most of our day working on the computer, touching the keyboard and mouse frequently with our hands. It has been found that on every square inch of the keyboard and mouse, there are more than 3,000 and 1,600 micro-organisms, respectively. For this reason, both should be frequently cleaned or sanitized.
The monitor also requires cleaning, as the screen may become blurry if it gets covered with dust, making it difficult to read the screen. Also, it is necessary to clean the back of the computer as dust easily accumulates there. Finally, we often bring food and drink to our desks while working, so food pieces may fall and drinks may spill. Sticky surfaces attract germs, so this is another reason why you need to regularly clean these surfaces.
There is a phone on almost every desk in the office. Most people neglect to clean their phone and so this can become a haven for bacteria and viruses. Office phones contain 25,000 germs every square inch which is pretty extreme! Furthermore, there are small spaces in between the number of buttons where dirt may accumulate. This means dust must be removed from telephones regularly and the phone should be thoroughly cleaned from time to time.
6. Office equipment
Office equipment such as the printer, fax machine, or a photocopier is common haven for germs. These micro-organisms will hide between buttons. As these machines are used by many employees, germs from these machines may affect a lot of people in the office. When someone is sick and then touches the photocopier after sneezing or coughing, their germs are transferred onto the machine, ready to be picked up by another employee. Therefore, it is important to clean this equipment regularly and also place a sanitizer nearby for employees to sanitize their hands before and after using the equipment.
7. Air vents
It is necessary to keep the air inside the office clean and this is only possible when you regularly clean the air vents and the inside ductwork. Unfortunately, this is another area that is often overlooked. You should hire professional cleaning services at least once a year to thoroughly clean the air vents and check your HVAC system so that ensure that you have high quality air flowing into the office. This maintenance will also help you to save on your energy bills.
8. Staff Kitchen Microwave
When employees warm up their food or drinks in the communal microwave, there can be spills or splatters that make the microwave dirty. Leaving dirt or food residue inside the microwave will cause bad odors and can encourage the growth of bacteria, potentially making every subsequent person who uses it sick.
The areas in the office discussed in this article are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Cleaning these spots regularly will ensure a healthy environment for your employees. This, in turn, can encourage productivity , improve employees’ mental health and reduce stress, and in the long run make the business more profitable.