Your workplace is a filthy disgrace. It’s covered in germs, bacteria and so much other funk that James Brown would be right at home strutting his stuff. Not my workplace, you say. “We clean it. It’s clean. Clean enough to eat off.” Sorry, more likely than not, we are talking about your workplace too. And actually, that eating thing is probably not an insignificant part of the problem.
In fairness, we will show some restraint and stop short of likening your place of a business to a modern day plague rat, however the reality is that it acts as a social nexus for a great number of humans and the germs, bacteria and aforementioned funk which use them for transport. As such, it is the most likely location for your employees to both acquire and redistribute productivity-crippling illnesses.
The thin strip of silver-lining is that forewarned is forearmed. Take a deep breath germaphobes because we are heading in – here are the hotspots for filth in your workplace:
Not only do these get touched a lot (hundreds or perhaps even thousands of times per day), but due to their shape and movement they can be very challenging to clean properly, which makes them perfect bus stops for travelling bacteria.
Sitting at your desk you cough and politely cover your mouth with your hand. When you sneeze, you raise a thin layer of tissue to your nose with your hand. As you eat your lunch at your desk, you lift, wipe and spill food on your hand. And then sooner or later you get back to work on your computer, operating your keyboard or mouse with that very same hand.
Much like the other desk-based offenders, people place grubby hands all over their phones regularly, however this item’s filth factor is further compounded by its proximity to the mouth. Outbound microscopic nasties can easily find their way onto the phone’s handset and are subsequently in the perfect location for re-inhalation by the next mouth to come along. FYI – the same applies double for your mobile phone, especially if you use it when you eat or while your are in the toilet (yes, that happens).
Everything in the kitchen. The bins, fridge, bench, sink and cupboards are all prime sites for the transference of bacteria. The presence of food and water are key components, but the clincher is the behaviour of people in this room, as they rapidly touch multiple high-traffic surfaces before making contact with food that is on its way into their mouths.
This one is kind of predictable, but what is amazing is that toilets and bathrooms typically feature far fewer germs and bacteria than desks. This is because despite the inherently high level of germs in areas associated with bodily functions, this risk is very well understood and thus much better mitigated than it is in other less obvious locations. Ever bleach your keyboard?
Some of the other notable offenders include shared printers, tap and water cooler buttons/levers, cupboard handles and just about any other communal surface which is regularly touched.
Alright, not all of this is entirely beyond your control. Here are some useful steps you can take to keep the horror at bay: