Germs are everywhere, from your desk to your phone. Picking up germs and bacteria is easy in an office setting. Since there are many items that people are in contact with, germ hotspots at the workplace are in abundance.
After the coronavirus outbreak, people have become more concerned about workplace cleanliness. And they are right to do so. It only takes a few seconds of exposure for a person to be infected by the debilitating virus. Therefore, it is imperative to minimize your exposure to germs by keeping your work environment clean.
Even though it is challenging to balance the daily workload while maintaining hygiene, you must make an effort to stay safe. Unfortunately, you cannot just wipe up your office desk and call it a day. Many places in our workplaces are breeding grounds for bacteria, but we never clean them. Fortunately, we have a small guide on the germ hotspots at the workplace and how you can clean them effectively.
- Your desk:
Did you know that the desk is one of the least hygienic places in an office? You might think it would be other surfaces such as the toilet seat or the bathroom sink, but you’re mistaken. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. If you are hot-desking, then your desk might be even dirtier.
Therefore have antibacterial wipes handy to wipe every crevice of the surface. If you eat at your desk, make a quick trip to the loo to wash your hands before eating. And do not ever chew your pen because you could be unwittingly ingesting bacteria left by other people! But it would help if you also told your coworkers to take precautions to avoid the spread of viruses. Go through these 10 points to consider for a Covid-19 secure working environment at the office.
- The office fridge:
You will have to agree with us that the office fridge is a disgusting smorgasbord of mysterious splotches and mind-boggling smells! Research suggests that there are more than 7,800 bacteria and germs per square centimeter in a typical office fridge. Picking up bacteria from touching the refrigerator is as easy as pie. And if your office fridge does not work very well, you are more at risk of contracting harmful bacteria. The buildup of mold and bacteria can lead to cross-contamination between you and your food. Therefore invest in some surface sanitizing wipes to wipe the door handle before using it. Remember to put your food in lidded containers to avoid germs and odor from spreading.
- Keyboard and mouse:
But wait! Aren’t these a part of your desk? No! Keyboards have more than 3,000 microorganisms per square inch. And the computer mouse is not far behind. Most of them have more than 1,600 bacteria on every square inch. If you are sharing your office equipment, then the situation might be even more dreadful.
So, how can you keep these areas clean? Make use of a hand sanitizer frequently. And if you have the sniffles, cough into the crook of your elbow instead of all over your PC. This will help to keep your hands clean. And for the love of everything sacred to you, turn your keyboard upside down and clean it regularly.
- Office mugs:
Who does not love a mug of hot coffee in the middle of a dragging office day? Sadly, your average office mug can be a hotspot for germs if you are not careful. We do not want to alarm you, but 1 in 5 office mugs carry fecal matter. If that was not enough, mold also proliferates on coffee dregs in just a few days. Furthermore, if you share a mug with a sick coworker, you might be sharing a lot more than just a hot beverage.
The best way to avoid transmission of diseases is by having a separate mug. Always clean your mug before and after using it. And if possible, store it in a drawer so that others do not use it. Alternatively, use disposable cups to deal with the menace permanently.
- Door handles:
Think about the first thing you touch when you enter your office building. Yes, that’s right, the doorknob! Your office door handle is ‘molested’ by hundreds of people countless times per day. That makes it a potent tool for the spread of viruses. If your coworkers are amongst the 25% of people who don’t wash their hands after going to the loo, you are in big trouble! You might be at high risk of contracting the highly contagious norovirus. So do yourself and the rest of humanity a favor and wash your hands after you tinkle.
- The photocopier or the office printer:
If your office has a shared photocopier, then everyone is always pushing its buttons. Yes, that was a pun. But seriously, touching the buttons can make picking up germs very easy. Try to avoid touching your face after you touch the photocopier and the printer. And if you absolutely cannot avoid doing so, wash your hands before rubbing your eyes.
If there is one thing that you should take away from this article, it is the need for better hand hygiene. And we are not just talking about running them through water. Always wash your hands with soap thoroughly. Remember to dry your hands and use disposable paper towels instead of hand driers since they spread bacteria. Always keep a hand sanitizer handy and use it throughout the day. And PLEASE clean your desk and equipment regularly!