When you entered the office building this morning, you used the elevator, pressed its buttons, touched the doorknob handles of your office room and you might have visited the restroom. Then you got yourself some food from the vending machine, went to the copier, made copies of the day’s memo, and poured yourself some coffee from the coffeepot in the office kitchen.
It is not even 10 AM yet, and you unknowingly spent the morning with your hands placed on the dirtiest parts in the office.
Common areas in the office like the elevators, kitchen sink, copier room, restrooms are understandably places that are covered with bacteria on the surface. When people cover their noses and mouths after a cough or sneeze, they sometimes mindlessly touch other objects afterward. This creates a pattern of spreading bacteria from one surface to another.
Your desk, on the other hand, is only frequented by you. This may lead you to think that your desk is a safer place compared to the office commons. You have your desk in place; folders are stacked up nicely, a tiny garbage bin under your desk. It definitely looks clean. But that is only seeing through your naked eyes. Under a microscope, several items and areas in your desk can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses.
Telephone and Smartphone
Studies have shown that there are 25,000 germs per square inch on your office phone. Office phones even when shared with a few people or used alone are still in contact with hands that have been outside. Couple this with touching your smartphone more than 50 times a day, then your hands are definitely in close contact with a lot of microbes every single day.
Smartphones on average are found to be ten times dirtier than the toilet seat. While the natural bacteria in human skin are not always dangerous, cleaning the phones meticulously prevents the spread of dangerous pathogens like Streptococcus, MRSA, or even E.coli.
Keyboard and Mouse
It is normal to spend lunch break on your desk. You place those crackers on a plate, a cup of coffee, or a bag of bread on your desk just like you were at a dinner table. But these food are only inches away from your keyboard and mouse so drinks could be spilled.
Food crumbs could get inside the crevices of your keyboards. Then you touch the mouse even before wiping the oil off your fingers. This mess not only attracts bacteria but also rodents. They could be loitering in the office after dark. Mice droppings and urine may contain Hantaviruses that can cause severe respiratory diseases.
It is important to constantly shake debris out of keyboards by turning them upside down and wiping them clean afterward. If you have time, you can pop the keys for thorough cleaning. Make sure to first clean the mouse before the keyboard as it tends to be neglected when wiping down surfaces.
Headphones are those cool things that hang on your monitor or at the side of your desk after use. They look good anywhere on your desk so they are often ignored when cleaning. Unfortunately, when you use headphones a variety of staphylococcus bacteria can be transferred from your ear to your earbuds.
Viruses have also been shown to live for up to three days on plastic surfaces. Then there’s your dried-up sweat that has never been wiped on from your daily use.
Soft damp cloth along with isopropyl alcohol are effective cleaning supplies for your headphones. They may not be easy to clean so avoid damage by trying on the cleaning products on similar surfaces like PVC leather sofas.
Sure, Albert Einstein and Mark Twain had messy desks. Creative people and geniuses are often said to have messier desks as they spark creativity. However, working in offices requires accountability to each other.
You are not only each other’s teammate on projects but when you get sick, the entire floor is just as vulnerable because of the type of environment that you share. These closed office buildings share a central AC with cubicles placed next to each other.
Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that your desks are always clean so as not to cause easily transferrable diseases. Don’t make your busy schedules as excuses. Call for professional cleaning help.