We all know that shared spaces are fantastic at gathering germs … and spreading them. You know to wipe down your mouse and keyboard and wash your hands. But here’s a few places where germs hide that you might not have thought about before!
1) Purses and Briefcases
Take a minute to think about the last time you cleaned your purse or briefcase. Not cleaned it out as in throwing away old receipts, but when have you actually wiped down the outside? Your bags sit on the floor of the office, buses, trains, cars, and come into contact with all sorts of people and items. Bags can pick up some serious germs, so be mindful of where you set them down and how often you’re cleaning them.
2) The Break Room
Sponges, faucets, sinks, countertops, the refrigerator and microwave … everything is coming into contact with everyone, and this is where you prepare your food! Sponges can be 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, so paper towels are a much more sanitary alternative. Make sure to wipe down all countertops after using them, use paper towels when you turn on the sink, and don’t forget to clean it, too. Sinks are often forgotten about if they’re not visibly dirty, allowing them to harbor germs and bacteria. Don’t forget to disinfect them as well, especially in a shared office space.
The average copy machine is touched up to 300 times per day, which makes it another spot where germs can be spread easily. Be sure to clean the buttons or touchpad every so often to eliminate the spread of bacteria.
4) Your Desk
Your keyboard and mouse can be touched by your hand for up to 8 hours a day, continuously soaking up skin cells, food particles, sweat, and dust. Grossed out yet? 10% of office workers admit to never cleaning their mouse, despite the fact that there can be up to 3,295 bacteria per square inch! Your work desk itself can have more than 10 million germs. Don’t forget your phone and other work supplies, too. Quick, grab that disinfectant wipe! It’s recommended to wipe down your work space at least twice a week.
The minute you walk into the office you’re in contact with germs because you touched the door handle. An office entrance doorknob can have 2.5 times more bacteria than the doorknob on your bathroom at home (yuck) so it may be helpful to keep some hand sanitizer at your desk. Be sure to wash your hands and wipe down all doorknobs since that is a place every single coworker is touching every single day.
So while this may have you reaching for your hand sanitizer and feeling the need to run out the door, don’t worry! Simple habits can improve the cleanliness of your office quickly. Wipe down all surfaces shared and touched by many people, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face. This will keep you healthy and hopefully most of those germs far away!