Offices can be hotbeds for the germs that can affect workers’ productivity, according to an article on the SELF website.
While there are germs pretty much everywhere, there are seven places that are particularly pathogen prone.
1. Keyboards. A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that 96 percent of the 25 keyboards sampled were contaminated with microorganisms like E. coli, which can cause food poisoning. The situation can be even worse if more than one person uses a keyboard. Clean keyboards with something simple like a disinfecting wipe every day is recommended.
2. Doorknobs. Doorknobs are touched all day by everyone in an office. Frequent disinfection is a good idea.
3. Faucet handles. A anyone who washes their hands is likely going to need to touch a faucet in some way to do it. Plus, the bathroom faucets are near toilets.
4. The refrigerator handle. The germiest office spots are usually touched by many and disinfected by few. The office kitchen’s refrigerator handle falls into this category. Again, frequent disinfection is a good idea – for all handles.
5. Kitchen sponges. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it doesn’t recommend using sponges to clean things. You can try microwaving or boiling office kitchen sponges to clean them, but the results are mixed when it comes to the efficacy of either option. It might be easier to replace the kitchen sponge with some kind of dishwashing brush.
6. Anything else people are touching all the time. Every office lends itself to a different kind of germiness depending on its occupants and workflow.
7. The air. Many infectious diseases spread through the air as sick people talk, cough, and sneeze. Good ventilation and a plentiful supply of hand sanitizer can help with this one.
Viruses spread quickly in office spaces. Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona shared in a CleanLink Webcast that he placed a bacterial virus on a push plate of a lobby door in an office building with 80 people. Four hours later, the virus was found on half of the workers’ hands and on 56 percent of the building surfaces.
However, by properly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, as well as providing hand sanitizer and stocked soap dispensers, the spread of viruses can be prevented. When Dr. Gerba provided these products in his study to half of the workers and put a hand sanitizer dispenser in the breakroom, the virus was only found on 10 percent of workers’ hands and 9 percent of surfaces within four hours.