About 30% of your life is spent at work. With people working longer hours and taking fewer breaks or holidays, a staggering third of your life is spent in a building or facility you have more daily contact with than your own home.
So lets think about that balance. At home you cook a meal, you clean up afterwards, wiping down the sides and washing up the dishes. When you eat at the dining table, you wipe it clean afterwards. Including the frequent deep cleans, the dusting, vacuuming and mopping you’ll spend a good couple of years from your life cleaning your home.
Now, apply that to work. A lot of us choose to eat at our desks but do you wipe it down after each meal deal lunch? Alongside business calls, switching between apps when procrastinating and social media we’ll spend around 23 days a year on our phones but do they get a regular clean? Think about your mouse, keyboard, tablet and computer screen. How often do you take time out to give them a good clean?
This is where the balance is off. We come into contact with our work surfaces daily yet proper cleaning still seems to be low on the list of priorities. However after reading about the hidden horrors beneath your hands in this blog post, it might make you think twice before tucking into that freshly delivered focaccia that’s been sat on your keyboard.
Your smart phone and tablet
Yes, it is true. Smartphones and tablets can harbor more dangerous bacteria than a toilet seat! A study by Which? who took swabs from a cross section of electronic devices discovered that some items contained up to 600 units of Staphylococcus aureus (which can cause food poisoning) compared to 20 units per swab of an office toilet which is incredibly grim.
These levels of harmful bacteria can be greatly reduced by not using devices when visiting the toilet, ensuring hands are washed frequently and the items are cleaned regularly as per the manufacturer’s directions.
Keyboards are the biggest collectors of germs and debris. With people coughing, sneezing and eating over them it is no wonder they can carry as much as 7,500 bacteria on them. Germs also find it easier to breed on keyboards as they offer a variety of grooves and crevices for them to spread into.
Clean keyboards regularly. Use a the sticky part of a folded post-it note to collect loose debris and crumbs and wipe clean using a manufacturer recommend product. Finish by cleaning carefully between the keys with a cotton bud to remove any last stubborn clumps of grime.
An office computer mouse can be host to up to three times more bacteria than a toilet flush handle. This is blamed predominantly on workers eating at their desks, creating food sources for germs to breed rapidly. When cleaning a mouse always disconnect from the USB port – otherwise you’ll have deleted a folder and clicked on a questionable link by the time you’re finished. Wipe the top, bottom and sides with a slightly damp cloth to remove dirt and greasy build-up.
Most computer mice have laser tracking which can also cause the tracking to become sticky or sluggish so check the underside and remove lint with a cotton bud before re-connecting.
Leaving the best to last, an average office desk is around 400 times dirtier than an average toilet seat. With that gruesome fact in mind think how many times your toilet is cleaned at home compared to how many times your office desk is properly cleaned down and sanitised. This might just be the reason for that sick day or the fast spread of flu-like symptoms going around the office.
It really pays to have a bottle of santiser in a desk drawer for a quick surface clean at regular intervals through-out the week. We’d always recommend a product like Pro 3 Anti-Bacterial Multi-Purpose Cleaner which is not only safe to use on both hard and soft surfaces, it also kills 99.999% of harmful bacteria including MRSA, H1N1 Influenza viruses and common food poisoning bacteria.
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