It might never actually occur to an office worker just how many germs are circulating around their keyboard, mice and desks, yet these can be some of the filthiest places in an office. And, without an effective hygiene plan in your place of work, the possibility of disease spreading to your employees is high.
This news comes after research from washroom services company Initial Hygiene reported that the average office mouse contains more than three times the levels of bacteria-related contamination than on a standard toilet seat.
It’s a potentially stomach-churning piece of knowledge that might coax office members to become that little bit more hygienic – and, there are a number of ways for them to do so.
Wash your hands
One of the most common reasons that keyboards and mice are so unhygienic is that many workers fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom, thereby raising the potential spread of that most unpleasant of faecal bacteria, E coli.
Indeed, without effective hand washing an office will always be beset with germs. And, washing your hands hygienically doesn’t simply mean a quick rinse under some cold water, either.
The ideal way to wash your hands is to rinse them thoroughly using anti-bacterial soap for around 20 seconds, making sure to scrub under your fingernails to wipe out any harmful bacteria lurking in those hard to reach areas.
In your workplace, be sure to erect signs in the bathrooms reminding people to wash their hands, and possibly another sign on the effective practice of hand-washing. In an office world where bacteria is spreading rapidly, the need to create a culture where hand washing will become second nature is imperative.
Stop eating at your desk
A major reason that bacteria is spreading around your office equipment is that workers are becoming more insistent on eating lunch at their desks, causing food crumbs to fester within the crevices of your keyboards and creating a vast number of germs that linger and multiply.
So, it might be a good idea to get workers to leave their desks when they’re eating, lest they infect it all the more with their lunchtime fajita wrap. In doing this, you’ll also have the knock-on effect of increasing your worker’s sociability levels as they eat together in a staff room, creating not only a more hygienic office, but a friendlier one.
Clean your office space regularly
While an office cleaner will come to hoover the carpets and wipe down the desks regularly, the keyboard, mouse and the computer itself will rarely get more than a periphery clean, meaning that your electrical equipment will still be flooded with invisible bacteria unless you step up your hygiene game.
Take the time to remove all of the keys from your office keyboards and wash them with warm soapy water to remove a large amount of the bacteria, and try to wipe any dirt and grime from your mouse without ruining the electronics.