You’re spending 5 days a week there, and while you think you know exactly where germs and dirt are lurking in the office, you might have to guess again. The areas that most people believe to be the dirtiest places in the office are often times not. So which spaces should you be keeping in mind and making sure get scrubbed down daily? Let us tell you.
The Break Room
More than any other room in your office, the break room is considered to be the dirtiest place in the office. Not because your break room is actually dirty, but because of the various items IN your break room. Since everything in the break room is SHARED between everyone working in the office, germs and bacteria tend to accumulate. But which items in the break room are the worst?
- The sink, faucet and cleaning utensils: Everyone is touching the sink with hands that have been touching various other things, so the faucet taps themselves are covered in germs. And that sponge you’ve been using to clean out your cup? Well, everyone else has been using it too to clean a multitude of personal items.
- The microwave (especially the door handle): Most people aren’t washing their hands before putting their leftovers in the microwave. But they are touching the microwave’s buttons and handles, so it’s important that you wash your hands AFTER using the microwave.
- The fridge door handle: No, it’s not that old lunch in the back of the fridge that you need to be wary of (though the old lunch isn’t keeping your fridge fresh either). It’s the door handle TO the fridge that is often neglected, but it needs to be cleaned. Everyday.
- Drinking surfaces: Water fountains, coffee pots, hot water dispensers, vending machine buttons and any other communal drinking surface can also harbor bacteria. With so many people touching these surfaces all through the day, they tend to be, well, dirty.
Yes, it’s your personal space. But that does not mean it’s immune from germs.
- The key board: Considering the fact that most office workers spend the majority of their days glued to their computers, it should come as no surprise that their keyboards have become germ havens. Between unwashed hands and crumbs from snacks, your keyboard is WAY dirtier than you might think.
- Shared resources: If you work in an office that shares resources or tools (calculators, files, binders…), then it’s always good to be aware that these resources might be harboring germs.
- Telephone: Yes, it’s just you using your telephone. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe from germs. We touch and talk on our phones all day long, without considering where we’ve touched before.
How to Deal with the Unavoidable
These places in the office are unavoidable throughout the day. So how do you keep yourself from getting caught in a germ storm? Well, a good practice is to keep sanitizer at your desk, as well as disinfectant wipes to wipe everything down at the end of the day. However, for communal spaces, rely on janitorial services and staff to disinfect the main areas identified above every single day. They will have the proper products and tools to do the job properly, so don’t be shy!