You might look around your office and see desks free of clutter, emptied bins, and the carpet hoovered and think that your office is clean and hygienic, right? Well, unfortunately, you might be surprised to find that what may look like a tidy and organised office on the surface could still be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria to spread.
A typical office sees many people come and go throughout the day. The close proximity of so many people working together and the lack of regular deep cleaning means that workspaces are places where bacteria love to thrive.
Without taking proper care to sanitise your office space, you may find that employees fall ill more easily. So what are some of the worst culprits for hidden bacteria in the office?
The worst places in your office for germs to spread
A study by Chuck Gerba, Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, found that an average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet bowl. While most of the subsequently tested germs were found harmless, the study also revealed that high quantities of the parainfluenza virus were present – these are the germs that cause colds and flu, and, in the study, around one-third of the surfaces tested contained them. If employees are permitted to eat and drink at their desks, this exacerbates the problem. However, even if employees are encouraged to keep their desks neat and tidy, germs can quickly spread without proper sanitisation.
A workplace phone is one of the biggest culprits for harbouring germs and bacteria. Because hands tend to carry germs (especially if good hand-washing hygiene practices are not in place), they are easily transferred onto the phone receiver, where they can spread to the next person who uses the phone. Viruses can survive for as long as three days on such surfaces, so if an employee was to touch a phone and then put their hands near their mouth, eyes, or nose, these germs could be transmitted to the person and cause them to become ill.
Door handles are typically overlooked during office cleaning, yet they are some of the most germ-ridden places in the office. Think of all the people who open and close doors using the handles throughout a typical working day – that’s a lot of opportunities for germs to spread from person to person and onto other surfaces too.
Again, handles of all kinds cause the most significant problem here. From cupboard door handles to fridges to the handle on your microwave, even a kitchen that looks clean to the naked eye can actually be host to plenty of bacteria and put your employees at risk.
While you might think bathrooms would naturally be clean because they are cleaned regularly, they are problem areas here too. Even though bathrooms are where people wash their hands, unfortunately, without proper care and attention, they too can house germs and bacteria that can cause sickness in your workforce. Taps, toilet flushes, light switches, and, you guessed it, door handles can be the riskiest places to touch and should be incorporated into a thorough cleaning schedule.
Any surfaces that aren’t thoroughly and regularly cleaned can pose a hygiene problem in your workspace. In fact, surfaces that aren’t frequently sanitised can see bacteria increase by 31% per day.
Hoovering a carpet can only remove the top layer of dirt and dust, and while this might give the impression of a clean floorspace, what lurks beneath tells a different story. Dust, dirt, and germs can live deep in the thick of the carpet and contribute to allergies and sickness in the workplace. It is only through carpet deep cleaning that it is possible to remove these germs and allergens and ensure that your carpets are truly clean.
So what can be done to ensure your office really is clean?
Wipe down surfaces with antibacterial sprays
Provide your employees with high-quality antibacterial sprays and wipes and encourage them to take responsibility for wiping down their desks, phones, and other office equipment regularly. Doing so will kill off the majority of germs, which will help keep the spread of diseases to a minimum.
Pay attention to overlooked areas
Remember that it is often the most overlooked area that causes the biggest problem, so make sure you remember to wipe down door handles, taps, keyboards, and handles found on kitchen appliances (kettle, fridge door, and so on) as often as possible.
Encourage good hand washing practices
Encourage employees to wash their hands regularly. Supplying antibacterial gel on desks or around the office can help employees remember to sanitise their hands frequently and reduce the spread of germs.
Hire a professional office cleaning services
To ensure your office is immaculate and hygienic, hire a reputable, professional office cleaning service to help you. Cleaning your office daily can help ensure that employees can work in a hygienic, healthy office and will minimise downtime due to sickness. Hiring a professional cleaning company to deep clean your office, clean carpets, and disinfect and sanitise your office will also give you peace of mind that you have done everything possible to create a truly clean environment for your team.
If you’d like to learn more about Alliance Cleaning’s range of cleaning services, get in touch with our friendly team for a personalised quote today.