5 Germ-Filled Places in the Office and How to Protect Yourself
You don’t have to suffer from mysophobia (excessive hand-washing) to survive in germ-filled places. But it helps.
“The germiest places tend to be high-traffic areas where a lot of different people touch the same surface,” says Time magazine. Your office would be one of those germy places. “…By taking one main precaution – washing your hands regularly – you’ll reduce your risk for getting sick.”
Your office after-hours office cleaning service may provide basic cleaning; trashcan emptying, vacuuming, sweeping, bathroom cleaning, etc. The copier you and as many as 5-50 co-workers touch every day doesn’t usually get a wipe-down.
In a 2018 Staples Cold & Flu Survey, nearly half the people that got sick that year believed they caught it from a co-worker. Here are some of the places in your office where germs thrive and what you can do to lower your risk of germ-related disease:
1. Conference Room
We touch our cellphones about 50x/day. Bacteria like Streptococcus, MRSA and E.coli can be found on cellphones. Then we gather in the conference room around a common table with a shared conference-room phone and…
Your desk is germier than you think. It’s nearly 400x dirtier than the average toilet seat. (Your office cleaning company cleans toilet seats; not your desk.) Your desk isn’t “just” where you work; you eat an occasional sandwich or afternoon snack there too.
3. Elevators and Escalators
You press the number 4 and as you’re going up, the germs from the elevator button are making themselves at home. On your hand. You take the escalator down to the main floor while gently trailing your hand along the rail for balance. Remember: Toilets are regularly cleaned; elevator buttons and escalator railings are cleaned infrequently.
4. Office Equipment
Your keyboard is another germ repository. The office copiers, door handles, fax machines, scanners…Any shared office equipment is used by sneezers and nose-wipers too busy to worry about spreading their germs.
5. Office Pantry
Most workplaces don’t have an organized kitchen-cleaning process. That’s why leftovers sometimes blossom in the refrigerator before someone finally tosses them out. Food-handlers spread their germs from their hands to the fridge, the sink, breakroom table, and then back to the refrigerator.
How to Protect Yourself and Employees
Sick days are inconvenient. When the entire office catches a bug, it’s a minor disaster. Management knows a germ-free office promotes productivity but hygiene and cleanliness are everyone’s responsibility. Here are some practices to be promoted in the workplace:
- Make it your business to carry disinfecting towelettes with you. Do a quick wipe-down before using shared equipment. An even easier solution is to use hand sanitizer every time you return to your desk. Every time.
- Stop eating at your desk.
- Use disinfectant wipes and wipe your desk upon arrival or departure every day. Include your keyboard, mouse, phones, and even prime spots on your cubicle wall.
Facility managers can lower the spread of bacteria by:
- Increasing vacuuming and general cleaning schedule during flu season.
- Keeping soap and paper towels well-stocked.
- Placing hand sanitizer at building entrances.
- Scheduling regular HVAC vent cleaning to reduce airborne bacteria.
Chicago-Area Commercial Cleaning
Like you, we understand limited budgets and turnaround times. Our business is keeping your office clean. You have several levels of service from which to choose and one of them will work for you, plus we offer free estimates. Call 630.737.1080 or contact Euro Maids to learn more.