Professional janitorial services can help keep your office clean and healthy, but you can do a lot for your health by following these tips to keep your desk and computer clean and tidy.
Janitorial Services - Your Desk and your Health
Recently, we took a look at how green cleaning services can help prevent your office and desk from becoming as filthy as a toilet, as well as the impact a condition dubbed QWERTY Tummy can have on the health of office buildings.
- Janitorial Services - Your Filthy Office
- Janitorial Services - Keyboards and Toilet Seats
- Janitorial Services - Sick Building Syndrome
Today we are going to look at ways that you can proactively improve the overall health of your office space and desk area, to increase your health and the well-being of those around you while significantly decreasing the number of sick days the average employee must take per year.
Why You Should Clean your Desk
Outside of the established productivity benefits to having a well-organized office and desk, there are specific health implications that have been pointed out in studies over the last ten plus years; the most well known of which are studies conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba from the University of Arizona.
In his investigations, he has uncovered some startling findings when testing for bacteria, germs, and other infectious diseases on everyday use equipment and high-touch surfaces.
A 2001 study took 7,000 samples from 10 different offices, testing for occurrences of:
- E. Coli.
- Klebsiella Pneumonia.
- Salmonella, and;
- Staphylococcus Aureus.
Of the ten high-touch/everyday use surfaces tested, including toilet seats, the top five highest occurrences of the tested bacteria were found to reside on, respectively:
- The phone.
- The desktop.
- Water fountain handles.
- Microwave door handles, and;
The Dirtiest Professions
As it turns out, when it comes to office filth, not all professions are created equal.
Another study conducted by Dr. Gerba in 2005 set out to discover which occupations tended to have the germiest desks.
The test took 616 samples from the desks, phones, pens, mice, and keyboards from employees in the following professions:
- Radio DJs.
- Television Producers.
- Publicists, and;
While teachers, perhaps not surprisingly, had the dirtiest phones, mice, and keyboards, accountants had the filthiest desks and pens.
Why your Desk is so Dirty
Germs can last, on flat, non-porous surfaces, for up to 3 days.
As it turns out, our hygienic practices and behavior have a lot to do with how severe a health risk our work environment can pose.
Recent studies have shown that:
- 57% of employees eat at their desk.
- 50% don't wash their hands after using the restroom.
- 20% never clean their mice.
- 11% never clean their keyboard, and;
- 80% come into the office sick.
Casual contact is more than enough to transfer bacteria from infected surfaces; while typical human behavior, such as rubbing your eyes and eating before washing your hands, is sufficient to ingest the germs.
Desk Cleaning Tips
As promised, here are some medically and scientifically advanced tips to keep your office clean and healthy.
Wipe Down Daily
Wipe down your desktop, phone, keyboard, and mouse daily with a green disinfectant wipe.
If you don't have access to any or are not sure which to use, ask your employer, or contact your green cleaning service provider.
This practice goes for all flat, high-touch, non-porous surfaces, such as refrigerator door handles, light switches, water fountains, bathroom fixtures and door handles.
Daily wipe downs have been shown to eliminate up to 99% of bacteria accumulated throughout the day and will go a long way towards reducing sick days, chronic fatigue, and office illness being passed around.
Decluttering your desk has proven psychological benefits that lead towards more productivity and a higher degree of mental health.
Conversely, a cluttered desk will contribute, over time, to mental stress that can manifest physical symptoms and contribute to poor overall health.
Don't Eat at your Desk
Eating at your desk may be a slight morale booster for a minority of the workforce, but it is wreaking havoc on the health of the office as a whole.
Food crumbs in keyboards, mixed with dust and bacteria, create a fertile Petrie Dish for germs to fester, ingest, and pass on to others.
Wash your Hands
It is disturbing, disgusting really, the number of adults that do not wash their hands after using the restroom, especially a public one, as well as not washing their hands before eating.
Use regular, gentle soap (not antibacterial or hand sanitizer) after every use of the restroom, before eating, and after coming into contact with a contagious person or surface.
- Average Desk Harbors 400 Times More Bacteria Than Average Toilet Seat
- Clorox Workplace Germ Study Fact Sheet
- Clean Up Your Desk: Office Space More Of A Hot Spot For Germs Than A Toilet Seat
- Eating lunch at your desk can expose you to more bad bacteria than a toilet seat, study says
- Is Your Desk A Hot Spot For Germs?
- How Death by Cubicle Works
- Where the Germs Are: New Study Finds Office Kitchens and Break Rooms are Crawling with Bacteria
- New Study Compares Jobs Germ by Germ
- Average Worker Comes in Contact with over 10M Disease-Causing Bacteria
With more and more jobs moving inside, we no longer have the Sun's natural UV protection to quickly eliminate germs and bacteria.
No fresh air to ventilate stagnant offices.
No naturally occurring greenery to decontaminate indoor air pollution.
We have become victims of our success and evolution.
It is time to make a healthy change for the better.
It is time we start viewing enclosed office workspaces as living organisms; given all of the bacteria that is running around inside of them, this isn't a stretch.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional janitorial services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call 661-395-3009
In Fresno CA, call 559-473-1790