The vast majority of us make sure that our homes are always kept spick and span, and free from germs, but what about the place we spend around 40 hours a week in? The office is a breeding space for germs, particularly your computer mouse and keyboard, so it is no wonder that office workers are prone to illness. But what can you do to ensure you keep your office clean, tidy and free from germs? Read on to find out how to clean an office and your equipment.
How to keep your office clean and germ free?
1. Your desk space
According to a study, the average desk contains a staggering 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Not to mention the average desktop harbours 20,961 germs per square inch, in addition to 3,295 on the keyboard, 1,676 on a mouse and a staggering 25,127 on the phone. Therefore, it is paramount that office workers spend time to clean their desks, to ensure no germs fester on their work space.
Failure to clean your desk regularly will result in dangerous bugs breeding, including E-coli. Therefore, it is important to make sure you give your desk a once over using anti-bacterial wipes at least every few days, focusing particularly on the mouse and keyboard. If this isn’t done properly, it is likely that more than two thirds of workers are at risk of sickness due to dirty desks.
Keyboards are well-known for being riddled with bacteria, which is unsurprising as office workers are constantly using them for up to eight hours a day. From skin cells, crumbs, sweat and oil being spread in such a small area, workers should think about giving their keyboard’s a wipe down with an anti-bacterial wipe at least once a week to get rid of the 3,295 bacteria found per square inch (on average).
In addition to an anti-bacterial wipe, it is worth tipping your keyboard upside down at the end of each day to clear out any mess collected throughout the day, such as dust or any crumbs. You can also use a post it note to run along the keyboard gaps; this should get out the smallest pieces that may be stuck.
Much like a keyboard, your hand is often placed on your mouse throughout the working day, which is typically around eight hours long. This means that they are heavily exposed to bacteria from sweat and food, to name a few. With 20% of office workers admitting that they never clean their computer mice, according to a study, it is no wonder that they can contain up to 1,676 microbes per square inch – that’s more than a toilet seat!
4. Printer and copier
In the workplace, the average printer and copier machine is touched up to 300 times in a single day, making it the perfect stomping ground for any nasty germs and bacteria to fester. As a result, it is important that at the beginning or end of each day, simply wipe over the surface and keypad with an anti-bacterial or PC wipe.
5. Water dispenser
The typical workspace gossip station, otherwise known as the water cooler, is a magnet for bacteria. With so many people heading to get their gossip and water fix every single day, it comes as no surprise that a shocking 2.7 million germs per square inch are found on a wager spigot, on average, according to the Public Health Organisation.
6. Office chairs
Cleaning office chairs may sound like a long and tedious job, so you may be thinking, “how to clean an office chair?” You don’t have to thoroughly clean the chair, instead, a simple wipe of the chair arms will do with an anti-bacterial wipe, to free the area of any germs that have been transferred from your hands.
7. Clean up any accidental spills
Coffee, tea and bottles of water are all office essentials which help get us through the day, but with the amount we go through on a daily basis, it is highly likely that something is going to get spilt sooner or later. If this happens, make sure you clean up the spillage as soon as you possibly can, with the appropriate tools – even more important if anything falls onto the carpet.
If you find your office carpet has become dirty, it may be worth getting the professionals in to give it a thorough clean. Find more about our carpet cleaning services here.
Office workers spend all day staring at their computer screen, so it is a good idea to make sure it is clean and splatter free whilst working. From specks of food to coughs and sneezes, it is easy for screens to get smudged and dirty quickly. Consider eating your lunch away from your desk, and no applying makeup either as this can make fingerprints difficult to get out.
It is worth keeping a packet of disposable screen wipes by your desk so that you can wipe down as and when you need to. Alternatively, to cut down on wastage, you may want to think about buying a reusable screen wipe that you can wash and use again and again.
9. Mucky microwaves
Hot food is a popular choice among office workers, especially in the winter months when hearty soups are everyone’s favourite meal choice. Therefore, the office microwave can get significantly dirty after a few uses from food spitting if not covered properly. But who’s in charge to clean it?
To take care of a dirty microwave, wet a handful of paper towels and put them inside the microwave and run it for 2-3 minutes. The moisture in the wet paper towels will soften the dirt and grime inside the microwave, making it easier to wipe down afterwards.
10. The dreaded dustbin
Everything from your discarded chewing gum, orange peel and the remains of your lunch go into your desk dustbin, thus it’s only sensible to keep it as clean as you possibly can. As well as regularly changing the bin bag to avoid overspill, you should consider giving the bin itself a wipe down with anti-bacterial wipe often.
To avoid any smells or unnecessary mess, it is a good idea to line the bottom of the bin with some old newspapers, which can help to soak up any excess liquid or oil from items thrown away.
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