Five Foolproof Ways to Rid Your Workspace of Germs
Know the areas that need a wipe-down most.
A study once found that common office areas-think: your keyboard, door handles, and the buttons on the communal microwave-have more bacteria than your average toilet seat. Let that sink in-and then decide to eliminate germs from your office today. These five steps will ensure you have a fresh, clean workspace.
Wipe Down Your Desk Phone
There is an average of 25,000 organisms per square inch on desk phones-seven times the amount found on a toilet seat (which is undeniably gross). So, if you have a dedicated desk phone, keep anti-bacterial wipes in your drawer and wipe down the receiver and buttons at least weekly, if not daily, says Sean Parry, the founder of home and office cleaning company Neat Services.
Keep Your Keypad Clean
Disinfectant wipes can be used on your keyboard, too-and should be, as the average one holds more than 3,000 organisms per square inch. You can also limit the number of germs added to your keyboard by keeping hand sanitizer handy and using it liberally, Parry says. (It's worth noting after typing, it's best to avoid immediately touching your face or eyes.)
Wipe Down Communal Areas
The microwave, coffee pot, printer, and scanner are prime places for germs to live. If you lack confidence in your office's cleaning crew, then consider bringing disinfectant wipes with you and give them a swipe before touching handles, buttons, or lids, Perry advises.
Sanitize Your Door Handles
"Any office location that is touched multiple times by different people is likely to harbor lots of shared and potentially harmful bacteria, including the very contagious Norovirus," says Parry. Consider this: Someone goes to the bathroom, doesn't wash his hands, then opens your office door to say a quick "hi." He likely just added Norovirus to your handle. So, if you have an office door, try to wipe it down daily with anti-bacterial wipes.
Use Your Own Mug
You wouldn't think germs would live on clean communal mugs-but they do, Parry warns. "Usually, simply washing them isn't sufficient [to clean them], and you'll often find that the office drying cloth in particularly is a major source of germs," Parry explains. But you can eliminate germs by using your own mug when possible, washing it at home, and bringing it back in each day. If your office has a dishwasher, it should be okay to keep your mug at the office. The dishwasher's high temperatures will kill most of the harmful bacteria, he says.