We often focus on cleaning the same few areas over and over again. While it’s good to keep areas like desktops and floors clean, sometimes we should focus on cleaning areas we don’t even realize are dirty. With flue season approaching in the midst of a global pandemic, now is the time to prepare and make sure you know which areas need to be thoroughly cleaned, and how often.
How Germs are Shared
There are many places in the office you might not consider germ heavy areas. However, think about any time a coworker asked to borrow a stapler or a roll of tape. Think about how many people touch the handle of the water cooler every day, or the door handle to enter the building. Because any one individual only interacts with these items a few times a day, we tend not to think of them as being germ heavy areas. However, because of the amount of people that handle these items daily, they can quickly turn into infection risks.
While some transmission of germs is unavoidably person to person (such as through situations such as handshakes or breathing), many germs can catch a ride from one person to another through contact with the same item or object. That’s why taking your office hygiene seriously can cut down on the number of germ transmissions and hopefully the number of staff who come down with whatever’s going around at the time.
One of the most common ways for germs to be shared in an office environment is through shared devices. The most common of these include shared copy machines and printers. Other shared devices could include fax machines, phones, and even computers or keyboards.
When cleaning your office, remember to take a few minutes to wipe down the copy machine and printer. Remind staff to clean desk phones and computers often and provide supplies for them to do so.
Another common area for germs to exist in high concentrations is the office kitchen. Any item or area that is touched by multiple people multiple times a day is a place to make sure you clean often. For example, the handle of the office coffee pot. Because so many people get coffee, the handle can end up with a lot of germs on it. The same goes for the handle of the office refrigerator door. A brief wipe down at the end of the day can help keep these items clean and safe.
Similarly the sink handles and shared dishes can be additional places for germs to gather. If the sponges used to clean shared dishes aren’t changed often they can lead to germ transfers. Additionally, wiping out the sink occasionally can do a lot of good as well, since so many shared dishes go through it.
Knobs and Handles
As mentioned previously, door and drawer knobs and handles are also high germ count spots, especially when they must be used by many people within an office. These are often overlooked at cleaning time, but it’s important to wipe them down regularly to avoid spreading germs throughout your office.