Where Are the Germiest Spots in Your Office?

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Once in a while, you have the penchant for cleaning your cubicle or workspace, but unless the rest of your office is germ-free, you are most likely carrying another person's microbes back to your desk.

Have you ever wondered how cough and colds get around your office? Cough and colds spread in the office because you and your co-workers are carrying loads of bacteria and germs with you. For this reason, a lot of studies suggest giving an elevator button or the bathroom faucet a good cleaning first before actually using it.

While coexisting with microbes and germs is a natural and sometimes necessary part of life, there are still germs that can cause viruses and diseases. It is vital to be aware of the hotspot for germs in your office to avoid carrying the germs with you.

5 Germ Hotspots In Your Office

Faucet Handles: Nearly 75% of the faucet handles in your office are dirty, and probably 91% of these could be cleaned better. To avoid carrying unwanted microbes, you have to turn off the sink using a paper towel. If there isn't any paper towel available, you can use your sleeve or your wrist. Using these parts of your body is safer than using your hands since you won't be able to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes using your wrist.

Computer Keyboards: You are always checking your computer for potential viruses, but have you considered the viruses found in your computer keyboard? The keyboard and the mouse are among the dirtiest surfaces in your office. This is because most of us eat at our desks and forget to wipe down our workspace. In addition, your fingers also secrete oils and amino acids which are very appealing to bacteria. To avoid contracting any disease or virus from your keyboard, you have to clean it every few weeks using a sanitizing wipe or putting a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.

Office Phone: The office phone or your desk phone is one of the germiest things in your workstation. Did you know that it is even dirtier than your trash can and keyboard? You can clean your office phone by wiping it with a paper towel with rubbing alcohol on it. Rubbing alcohol will kill most of the bacteria found on the phone. In addition to sanitizing your phone, you can also ask your colleagues to email you instead, so that you don't have to hold the phone.

Elevator Buttons: The problem with elevator buttons is that one finger that is carrying bacteria can spread germs throughout the office building. You can avoid contracting the diseases carried by such bacteria by carrying a hand sanitizer and using it after pushing the elevator button. It is said that the use of hand sanitizer reduces work absence due to illness.

Conference Rooms: Conference rooms are public domains where people interact, eat, and even use the phone. When a lot of people gather in one place, the potential for spreading germs and bacteria also grows. To reduce the germs and bacteria living on conference room surfaces, such as tables and chairs, you can wipe down the surfaces before a meeting starts. You have to know that bacteria can live on dry surfaces for about 48 hours.

Easy Habits You Must Adopt

These three easy habits are very obvious and simple, and yet a lot of people tend to take it for granted. A little reminder will help you remember to follow such simple habits.

Wash your hands: Washing your hands and completely drying them with paper towel is the road to good health and proper sanitation. Doing so will eliminate germs and keeps you from getting sick.

Hand washing poster from Yale

Wipe surfaces before using: You can bring your own sanitary wipes or you can ask the management team to keep sanitizing wipes on-hand around the office. You have to use these wipes to clean germ hotspots in your office, and help reduce the spread of bacteria.

Sanitize your hands. You must keep a personal sanitizing bottle at your desk or in your bag. You must make it a habit to use it frequently. You can use it before and after shaking hands, or you can use it when you come in contact with germ hotspots.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kris Lim is a health advocate who writes for health websites. She also regularly contributes her thoughts and ideas to www.blinkfactorysolutions.com which is a website for a professional cleaning service provider.

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