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Offices: The Gross, the Bad and the Ugly

According to a 2012 study by Kimberly-Clark Professional (summarised here on WebMD), the majority of office workers are aware of the risk germs pose in restrooms, but they pay significantly less attention to other areas of the office, such as break rooms and desk surfaces.

This can cause somewhat of a problem in the long run, not only in the look and feel of your work environment, but also to the health and well-being of those in it.

Regular scheduled visits from professional cleaning companies like Relkogroup are a good way to stay up to date with cleaning the office and making sure it is safe and sanitary, but being aware of the highest risk areas and making a conscious effort to keep them clean is the best way to keep everyone on top of things. For more on our Birmingham cleaning services, browse this page.

That is why we have listed the top three dirtiest spots in the office, according to the study’s results. You can see the other germ-ridden spots by reading the WebMD article, but for a quick breakdown of the most notable areas, read below.

#1 Break Room Sinks and Faucet Handles

Sinks are universally considered to be the place you go to clean up, whether you need to rinse dirty dishes or wash your hands. Given its purpose, it is natural to assume that the sink is one of the cleanest places in the office, so you will be surprised to learn that the sink is one of the dirtiest places in the office.

You might be used to the idea of bathroom sinks being dirty, grimy and germ-ridden when not cleaned on a regular basis, but the number one germ-ridden spot in an office is actually the sink faucet handles in the office break room. People wash their dirty hands, dirty dishes, dirty everything, but they won’t necessarily wipe down the tap afterwards.

#2 Microwave Door Handles

Once again, it is the recreational and food preparation area (yuck!) that proves to be the dirtiest. This is a little disconcerting, considering how much we rely on these areas to provide a safe and sanitary environment, so we can make and eat lunch in peace. However, it makes sense when you look at the volume of traffic and use in these areas.

Just think about how many employees make use of the office microwave each lunch time. Now think how many germy hands must have shared the same handle, without wiping it down or sanitising in between. That’s right; Brenda from Accounts may well have sneezed into her hand before making her porridge, without ever having taken a detour to the hand washing sink. Now, would you still be hungry?

(Fun Fact #1: Refrigerator doors came up at number four on this list of the nastiest office spaces.)

#3 Keyboards

Computer keyboards; the backbone of the 21st century office. You can barely function without the help of your trusty QWERTY companion, which undergoes countless taps every minute of the working day.

Of course, with your working world revolving around your keyboard, you sit there and eat your lunch, scratch your face, cough out the tickle in your throat…all above your crevice-laden keyboard.

Now, the majority of the dirt and grime is hidden beneath the keys, out of sight and out of mind, but still very much there. If you hot desk, the spread of keyboard dirt and bacteria is even greater, often contributing to office-wide pandemics.

(Fun Fact #2: Your keyboard may take the 3rd place title, but your desk surface comes in at number seven on the list, with up to 10 million bacteria milling around on it.)

With 60% of office illnesses being attributed to dirty surfaces, it is crucial that you do your best to ensure a safe and clean working environment for your staff and visitors. Everything from the door handles, coffee canisters and kitchen taps, to individual keyboards, mice and phones need to be sanitised on a regular basis.

Of course, encouraging your staff to take charge of cleaning their personal workspaces and using incentives or a rota for public spaces will help employees take pride in their workspace. For regular, professional and comprehensive cleaning services though, simply get in touch with Relkogroup today.