The importance of maintaining a hygienic office space is not just to keep away bad bugs but to create a productive work environment.
There is a scientific connection between a clean workplace and a reduction of sick days and an increase in productivity.
The cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy now exceeds $32.5 billion per annum in payroll and lost productivity costs.
How clean are we, really?
Overall, microorganisms can be found on all surfaces in an office. From our keyboards, coffee cups to the shoes on our feet.
Studies have shown the average office desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Most of the bacteria comes from the person who uses the desk. As humans, we host the bacteria which enters the office.
Whether it be the keyboard or phone, researchers have found microbial flora on several office surfaces. A study in the US found mobile phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
Research by public health organisations has found reusable coffee mugs are not being cleaned properly. Up to 90% of office mugs are coated in germs, with 20% carrying faecal matter.
Other items found to carry microorganisms are stationery products. Pens which have been chewed on or used by someone with poor hand-washing practices, for example, are something to be wary of.
What can we do about it?
These facts might be concerning, but there are easy steps to combat workplace bacteria.
- Clean your keyboard – unplug or turnoff the keyboard and use an isopropyl alcohol to disinfect the keys. You can also gently shake the keyboard over a bin to remove any crumbs or debris. Use a cotton swab or bud to get into those tight spaces to get rid of any other dirt.
- Clean your mouse – unplug or turn off the mouse. Disinfect the outside of your mouse with isopropyl alcohol. A deeper clean can involve removing the mouse ball cover and cleaning. Be sure to use specialist cleaning fluid to clean the rollers.
- Clean your screen – switch the monitor off and make sure it is unplugged. Wipe the surface to remove any built-up dust. Use a microfibre cloth to clean the screen. Avoid using cleaning fluids, wax or chemicals.
- Dust your desk – use a microfibre cloth to regularly wipe your desk surface.
- Reduce clutter – keeping clutter at bay will make cleaning your desk area much easier.
- Clean your phone – we all use our phone regularly, meaning the build-up of bacteria happens quickly. Use anti-bacterial wipes often to keep your phones clean.
Keeping coronavirus out of the office
Simple hygiene is the best way we know to fight any sickness. These easy steps to keeping your office clean will help prevent the spread of viruses in the workplace.
The experts at House Call Doctor recommend contact a medical professional if you work in an office environment and are feeling unwell. It is important any symptoms associated with the coronavirus are assessed before you return to your workplace.