The average desk is contaminated with a shocking amount of bacteria (even more than a public toilet). Use these office cleaning tips to banish germs from your workspace. As you sit at your desk, typing on your keyboard and sipping from your coffee cup, you’re surrounded by thousands (perhaps millions) of germs. In fact, the surfaces around your workplace are some of the worst bacteria hotspots you come in contact with each day. Office items such as keyboards and desks are breeding grounds for bacteria, yet these frequently touched surfaces are rarely cleaned, according to a survey by job-search site Joblist. Respondents reported cleaning their computer mouse and keyboard an average of fewer than two times a month and their desks about three times a month. Nearly a quarter of the 1,000 respondents also admitted to going at least one entire workday without washing their hands over a one-month period. These unhealthy habits can lead to a workplace crawling with germs.
According to research from Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, the average desk is teeming with about 800 bacteria per square inch. The unwashed coffee cup sitting at your desk and your work phone are even grosser, with 2,200 and 1,600 bacteria per square inch, respectively. To compare, the office toilet seat harbors about 59 bacteria per square inch, a small fraction of the germs you make contact with at your own desk. Think about that the next time you’re eating lunch while taking calls or typing emails.
Coming in contact with these bacteria-ridden office surfaces can lead to serious illnesses and infections. One study found that 96% of the 25 keyboards tested were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, including disease-causing microorganisms such as E. coli, which comes from fecal matter, and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes infections.
To make matters worse, almost three-quarters of the Joblist survey respondents said they’ve gone to work while sick. And when someone in your office is ill, your risk of infection can be up to 90%, research from the University of Arizona shows. The study found that more than half of workplace surfaces, including the office coffee pot handle, doorknobs, phones, and desks, can become infected with a virus with just one sick person in the office. However, simple sanitation steps, such as washing your hands before you eat and regular cleaning with disinfectant wipes, dropped the risk of infection to less than 10%.
Although frequently touched desk items, such as your keyboard, phone, and computer mouse, can be difficult to keep completely germ-free, proper cleaning habits can seriously help. First and foremost, to prevent the spread of germs, wash your hands well and often, especially after using the restroom and before eating. Then follow these cleaning practices to regularly disinfect your desk and other office items. To keep your workspace sparkling, consider wiping down these office surfaces every evening before you leave work.
To clean and disinfect your desk area, start with the items on top.
- If you use a coffee cup or reusable water bottle, wash it daily with liquid dish soap and hot water or take it home or to the kitchen each night after work to run it through the dishwasher.
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean items such as your stapler, tape dispenser, scissors, and most-used pens, making sure to wipe down all sides.
- Consider washing other desktop accessories like pen holders with soap and water.
Next, you can disinfect the surface of your desk.
- Remove all items, including your computer (if possible), phone, pen holder, stapler, and other accessories, from the desktop (or move them to the side while you clean).
- Use disinfectant wipes to thoroughly wipe down the entire surface.
- Wait for the cleaning solution to dry before moving the desk items back into place.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first-class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award-winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, info@ScottsdaleRealEstateTeam.com or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings