Apart from their homes, people spend majority of their time in the office, where they are often exposed to elements that may make them sick. Workplace hygiene is an important issue that should be addressed especially when employees’ health may be compromised. When one employee after another gets sick, the company stands to lose money due to decreased productivity.
Here are bacteria-prone areas that you may not be aware of. If you already know these, then you can do some counter measures to make ensure that your work area is clean and germ-free.
In small companies, sharing workstations is a common thing, particularly when employees work on different shifts. This is one of the major reasons why the keyboard can become a breeding ground for bacteria. When you share your workstation with someone who works the graveyard shift, you never know what germs may be left behind. You don’t know whether that person sneezed on the keyboard or didn’t wash hands after using the toilet.
As a precaution, always clean your keyboard before you start working. If you don’t have antiseptic wipes, you can make use of hygienic products that are in the office restroom like hand sanitiser and paper towels. Don’t forget to clean your mouse as well!
The desk is another potential hotspot for germs. Just like your keyboard, it can breed bacteria if not cleaned properly. A good practice would be to take a few minutes each day to clean your desk right before you start work. Bring your own supply of tissues and alcohol so that you can have backup cleaning materials in case your restroom runs out of paper towels and sanitiser. If you don’t share your workstation with anyone else, a thorough cleaning at the start of the week should be enough to keep the germs at bay. Clean from corner to corner to remove every speck of dust that may have accumulated over the weekend.
Carpeted floors in offices are the bane of those who suffer from allergies like rhinitis. Just the smallest hint of dust can trigger a sneezing storm that can render an employee unable to work effectively. Aside from being a hotspot for dust mites, carpets can also be a breeding ground for moulds especially when moisture becomes trapped between the concrete floor and the carpet. Thus, it is advisable to vacuum frequently to ward off dust mites and moulds. Daily to weekly vacuuming should help keep dust to a minimum.
Headsets and Phones
Have you tried having a tickle in your nose and just as you’re about to sneeze, it goes away. Then the next second a big sneeze lets loose and this time, you’re not fast enough to capture it in your hands. Chances are you’re spreading germs through your headset, phone, or whatever device you’re using at that moment. Make sure you wipe them when this happens. Another safety precaution would be to always wash your hands after using the toilet or after going on a smoke break. This way, bacteria can be contained and won’t infect the devices that you’re using.
Aside maintaining your personal workspace, make sure to clean up after using shared areas such as the kitchen/pantry or conferences. Your office hygiene can also benefit from an annual antibacterial fogging treatment, which promises to eradicate up to 99% of all bacteria that exist on surfaces.