We can all think that our offices are clean, desks are clear of dust, bits of food have been hoovered up off the floor and the bins have been emptied. Unfortunately, this isn’t good enough when it comes to office hygiene as there are many things you can’t see.
Whilst cleanliness and a tidy appearance are critical for a positive first impression from visitors and are key to keeping employee’s morale high, there are some hidden health dangers lurking around offices that are often overlooked. These are the ones that could cost your company in the terms of lost productivity.
Germs can’t be seen, but they certainly can be felt. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), illnesses like the flu spread from person to person when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and get into the mouths or noses of people nearby. The germs in these droplets also live on surfaces, such as desks or doorknobs, for two hours or longer and can spread when people touch these surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth and nose. This happens so suddenly that one sick employee turns into four or five or more sick employees!
Here are just a few things that you should be aware in terms of germs and infection.
Phones are teeming with germs and bacteria. They are held so close to one’s mouth that germs are quickly transferred onto the phone and can be transferred to another user. Of course, germs and bacteria from hands, pushing the buttons to dial and holding the phone can be a site a transfer for germs and bacteria too.
Keyboards are notorious for harbouring food debris (which encourage bacteria), and can contain up to 7,500 bacteria. With your fingers constantly tapping away at the keys, it’s very likely that you’ll pick up these germs.
Desktops are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs from hands, food and documents that have been circulating around the office, picking up germs on their way. It is said that the average worker’s desk is 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat! 1 out of 5 office workers admit to not cleaning their desks before eating, making it easier for bacteria to grow.
20% of office workers admit to not cleaning their mouse, this will allow bacteria to grow and spread. We touch our eyes, nose and mouth about 16 times in just one hour, this can transfer bacteria and germs to faces and can cause illness to start. A computer mouse harbours three times more germs than a toilet handle.
Sick days cost the economy £29 billion per year and UK workers lose on average 9.1 days of work due to sickness. Of course, there’s an obvious solution to prevent this from happening, get your office cleaned by a professional! This is what we at Merit Hygiene do! If you’re interested in using our services, give us a call on 01256 471 508 or visit our website.
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