The Dirtiest Places in Your Office – Infographic
Most of us spend a large part of our lives working, commonly in an office. Perhaps because an office environment rarely looks dirty, few of us consider that areas throughout this space can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. However, with so many people sharing a confined space, it is inevitable that some spots can become particularly dirty and germs can be quickly spread. Even if you employ a contract cleaning service, it is still good to be aware of the areas which could benefit from more frequent office cleaning.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the germiest and dirtiest places in the office.
Keyboards can be one of the dirtiest places in the office, not only because we’re constantly touching them, but because food and dust can fall beneath the keys and fester. Regularly cleaning the keyboard with a special brush and cleaning fluid designed for electronics can help to tackle this problem.
The water cooler can be a popular spot to grab some water and have a chat with colleagues but, with a considerable number of hands touching the cooler on a daily basis, it can be easy for germs to accumulate here. If the water cooler isn’t disinfected regularly and glasses cleaned in warm soapy water, germs can easily be spread.
The kitchen sink (and sponge)
The kitchen area can easily harbour dirt and germs, especially when food remnants aren’t quickly cleared. These crumbs and splatters are a breeding ground for bacteria, some of which can be pretty harmful. What’s more, kitchen dish sponges can also be very dirty – often they are left damp and can be prone to mould as well as housing bacteria. One study found that 20% of ‘cleaned’ mugs had traces of coliform bacteria and, after wiping with a communal dish sponge, another 20% tested positive for E.coli.
Office telephones receive a lot of use and can quickly become dirty, particularly if they are shared. Have you ever seen someone cough or sneeze whilst on the phone and then simply replace the receiver? This is a sure way for viruses to spread. Make sure you disinfect the handset and buttons regularly to keep phones clean.
Practically everyone in the office will open the refrigerator at some point during the day, but few will think about cleaning it. Germs can be quickly transferred to the fridge handle and passed on to the next few people to get out the milk for their coffee. With germs and bacteria able to linger on surfaces, the handle should be cleaned daily. What’s more, in communal kitchens food can easily be forgotten about and left to breed bacteria. It’s a good idea to have a system where unclaimed food is regularly thrown away and the fridge interior is cleaned.
An office photocopier or printer is another prime example of a spot which accumulates germs due to regular use from a multitude of people. The equipment would benefit from daily disinfecting and, during cold and flu season, you may want to consider using hand sanitiser after operation.
Toilet door handle
This seems like an obvious germ zone but you’d be surprised how many people overlook the door handle. Although you may wash your hands after using the toilet, other people may not and you can pick up germs from the handle as soon as you go to exit the room. All bathroom handles should be on your contract cleaner’s daily schedule for disinfecting to help curb germs.
With coffee fueling many an office, it’s likely the coffee pot or machine will be heavily used throughout the day by most people in your office. As well as the germs transferred from many different hands, due to the warm environment, coffee machines can also be susceptible to mould. With one study finding that the average coffee pot handle had 34 times more bacteria present than a school toilet seat, you’ll want to make sure this spot benefits from a regular cleaning schedule.
The microwave experiences the same problems that other kitchen appliances suffer from when it comes to germs. With many different people using the microwave, germs can easily be transferred from hands to handle, then on to the next user. The potential for contamination doesn’t just stop there though. If you’ve ever given the inside of your office microwave a good look, you’ll likely notice all manner of splashes and food remnants. Particles of old, festering food could easily dislodge and get into uncovered food being heated, contaminating it. Ensure the microwave isn’t passed by during cleaning.
Door handles across your office are a key spot which should be given cleaning attention on a daily basis. From entryway doors to meeting room doors, these are spots handled by multiple people every day. One study found that, after placing a virus on one of an office’s entrance door handles, approximately 60% of staff had traces of the virus on their hands within 4 hours. This plainly demonstrates how quick and easily viruses can be spread without sufficient cleaning care.
The problem with germs is that they can easily go unnoticed, due to being an invisible kind of dirt. It is, therefore, important to hire a thorough cleaning company, such as JMS Cleaning, who can keep your premises spick and span. Using professional equipment, an experienced team and tried and tested methods, we carry out consistently high quality contract cleans. If you have enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us today – we offer cleaning contracts across the North West, including Cheshire, Stockport and Manchester.