Commonly Overlooked Germ and Bacteria Havens in Offices
Nov 01, 2023
As you settle into your office, you might believe it’s a relatively clean and sterile environment. However, appearances can be deceiving. Your workspace can be teeming with invisible germs and bacteria. In this blog post, we will explore some commonly overlooked germ and bacteria havens in offices and provide tips on how to keep your workplace a healthier, cleaner space.
The Office Desk
Your desk is ground zero for office activity, and while it may seem clean, it’s often a breeding ground for germs.
Think about how often you touch your keyboard and mouse. These frequently used peripherals can harbour a significant number of germs and bacteria. It’s important to regularly clean your keyboard and mouse with disinfectant wipes and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
Your desk phone, if you have one, is another often-overlooked germ hotspot. Many people use it daily, but few remember to clean it. You should wipe down your desk phone with disinfectant regularly, especially if it’s a shared phone.
The handles on your desk drawers are frequently touched, and they can accumulate germs over time. Make it a habit to clean the drawer handles when you clean your desk.
Office Kitchen and Breakroom
The office kitchen and breakroom can be communal spaces where you’re likely to find hidden germs and bacteria.
The refrigerator handles and buttons are high-touch areas and can collect germs if not cleaned regularly. Wipe down the refrigerator handles and buttons periodically, and encourage your coworkers to do the same. The same goes for microwave and coffee machine buttons.
Shared sponges and dish towels are often used for cleaning, but they can become breeding grounds for bacteria if not properly cared for. Replace sponges regularly and ensure that dish towels are washed and dried thoroughly to prevent bacterial growth.
Restrooms and High-Touch Surfaces
Restrooms are essential in any office, but they can also be a source of germs and bacteria.
After washing your hands, you touch the faucet handles and soap dispensers. These surfaces can carry a high load of germs. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and exit the restroom to reduce contact with germy surfaces.
Toilet flush handles are often forgotten in cleaning routines, but they can be covered in germs and bacteria. Flush toilets with your feet, if possible, or use a tissue to touch the flush handle.
Exiting the restroom involves touching door handles, which can be a source of cross-contamination. Use a paper towel to open the restroom door and dispose of it properly afterward.
Shared Electronics and Equipment
Shared electronics and equipment can host germs and bacteria without you even realising it.
Printers and copiers, remote controls and elevator buttons are frequently used by different people, and the buttons and surfaces can carry germs. Clean the buttons and surfaces with disinfectant wipes regularly.
Personal Items and Workspace Hygiene
Your personal items and workspace hygiene can also impact the cleanliness of your office.
Bags that you bring to work can pick up germs from various places. Keep your bags off your desk, and clean them regularly, especially if they’ve been placed on the floor or other potentially dirty surfaces.
Your personal devices can also be covered in germs and bacteria. Clean your phone and tablet screens with disinfectant wipes, and avoid using them on your desk if they’ve been placed on unsanitary surfaces.
Ventilation and Air Quality
The quality of the air in your office can affect the spread of germs and bacteria. Poor ventilation and air circulation can lead to the buildup of airborne germs, increasing the risk of illness. Ensure your office has proper ventilation, and consider using air purifiers to improve air quality.
Regular maintenance for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is crucial to prevent the circulation of airborne contaminants. Encourage your workplace to schedule routine maintenance for HVAC systems to ensure clean, filtered air.
Your office might be a hotbed of unseen germs and bacteria, but with a little awareness and some good hygiene practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of illness. Regular office cleaning, proper hand hygiene, and encouraging responsible behaviour in your coworkers and visitors can create a healthier and cleaner workspace. By implementing these tips, you can protect yourself and your colleagues from the hidden invaders lurking in your office.