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What's Lurking On Your Desktop?

Keeping your office clean and tidy is about far more than the simple aesthetic value of neatness; it is a necessity if you want a pleasant and safe working environment.
 
An unkempt or unclean workspace will not only prove to be distracting and damaging to productivity, but also harmful to people’s health and wellbeing. When your employees are at work, it is largely your responsibility to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to protect them from risks of all shapes and sizes. Now, when you consider that the average desktop is covered in 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet bowl, you will understand how important cleanliness and office hygiene is for everyone involved.
 
When desktops are left to accumulate dirt, grime and bacteria, the average workstation becomes a health hazard. According to research, the average desktop hosts 21,000 germs per square inch. Multiply this figure by the number of desks in your department, on your floor and across the company as a whole, and you can see just how much of a hot zone your office really is. Even when everything looks neat and clean, what lurks beneath, on a microscopic level, is what you need to be wary of.
 
Viruses and bacteria are not only able to survive on surfaces like desktops, phones and keyboards; they thrive off them. Viruses like flu can survive on these surfaces for up to three days, which is bad news for those who spend their time hot-desking or working in close quarters to germ-ridden desks. Of course, Relko Group will help a lot when it comes to keeping on top of all things clean and hygiene related, but there will still be problem areas that need to be addressed between scheduled cleans.
 
The most germ-infested areas in any office are places like fridge and microwave handles, sink faucets in common areas, vending machine buttons and water cooler buttons. Riskier than all of these areas though, is the desk. It is where each and every employee will spend the majority of their day; working, eating, drinking, spilling, socialising, breathing and contaminating. Even the most hygienic of individuals will be at risk because people will invade their personal space, transferring bacteria by touching things, borrowing the stapler and going about daily office life in general.
 
So now you know how bacteria-ridden offices are as a whole, and why it is so important to enlist the help of professional office cleaning companies, let’s take a closer look at what, exactly, is likely to be lurking on your desk. For more useful information on office cleaning services in Birmingham and the surrounding ares, then be sure to visit our webpage.
 
Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver, caused by a viral germ. The infection can last for days or months and can range in severity, from mild to critical. Symptoms include nausea, fever, stomach cramps and in some cases, death. The Hepatitis A virus can be found in faeces and passed on, indirectly, through contaminated food or water. That’s right; next time you are passing the biscuits around the team, take a moment to consider what else you might be passing round.
 
Gastrointestinal Illnesses

Gastrointestinal illnesses are particularly nasty, coming in a variety of different forms like diarrhoea, food poisoning and gastroenteritis. These illnesses are all caused by bacterial germs, like salmonella and staphylococcus, which are usually found in food preparation areas and on work surfaces or desktops where foodstuff and other bacteria have been allowed to build up.
 
Gastroenteritis is actually one of the most common desktop-induced diseases, but with raised hygiene awareness in the workplace, the risk of contracting it can be significantly reduced. Caused by a viral germ found in faeces, gastroenteritis can infect people via contaminated food and shared utensils; in fact, even licking your fingers can lead to an acute case. Those with the illness will experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, headaches, weakness and lethargy in varying degrees.
 
Cold and Flu

Cold and flu are viral infections that affect the respiratory system and associated organs (nose, throat and lungs). Common symptoms include coughing, sneezing, dry or sore throat, blocked or runny nose, headaches and fever. Experiencing any combination of these symptoms is unpleasant, but what is worse is that coughing and sneezing actually help to spread the virus, compounding the problem. Flu is usually more severe than a cold, and many of the symptoms are the same, with the addition of fatigue, muscle ache and joint pain, chills and nausea and vomiting or diarrhoea. Whether your employees suffer from mild colds or full-blown flu, the illness will have a negative impact on everything from productivity and office morale, to employee absence and individual health.
 
The office is the ideal breeding ground for bacterial and viral infections. With so many people working in such close proximity, it only takes one unhygienic or unhealthy individual to cause a localised breakout that devastates entire departments at a time. This is not good news for businesses that can suffer both financially and functionally as a result of employee absence, as well as from the presence of sick employees unable to work to their full potential.
 
With so much at stake then, it is vital that all employees are aware of the best practices for hygiene and cleanliness, and that they adhere to them. It is also important to keep the office stocked with plenty of tissues, paper towels, antibacterial wipes and cleaning products, so that everyone can keep their workspace and any communal areas clean and sanitised.
 
Of course, the best way to tackle bacterial build-up is to invest in the services of a professional office cleaning company, with the knowledge and expertise needed to give your office regular and thorough cleans, as well as routine deep cleans. www.relkogroup.com is the leading office cleaning company in Birmingham, specialising in everything from bacteria-destroying deep cleans to carpet cleaning services. So call today and let Relkogroup help you to keep your office clean and tidy, and your staff happy and healthy!