Is Your Work Environment as Clean as You Think?

We all like to think of home as a place that’s clean and sanitary; a place where our families thrive, our children play and on the whole where we live contented and healthy lives.  But do these standards extend to our work places?  We’d hope that our place of business is clean, and that the right image is projected in order to impress prospective clients, customers and visitors alike, as well as reaching the standards where duty of care to employees isn’t compromised.

So if we take a closer look, and burrow down under the surface, is everything as it seems?  Are hygiene practices being followed?  To the naked eye, everywhere could look sparkling, but what bugs and bacteria are present that we can’t see?  Here are our top 5 danger hot spots where infection could be lurking, ready and eager to spread among your unsuspecting workforce!

The Office Microwave

This could be the hottest hotspot! Accidentally spilt meat and vegetables, and other food particles will combine with heat and moisture which allow bacteria to multiply at alarming rates, causing potential health risks.  Consider how many people are using the appliances at your place of work. Far more than at home, which means they’ll harbour far more germs and bacteria.

The Office Fridge

The fridge may be at the other end of the heat spectrum to the microwave, but it is still refuge to germs and bacteria that can thrive beautifully!  Unless cleaned regularly, dropped or even forgotten food can gather bacteria and mould spores which will still multiply at a swift rate.  Here’s some ‘food for thought’ – the average fridge can contain over 7,000 bacterial colony forming units per square centimetre.

Your Desk

How many of us eat our lunch in the toilets? None, would be our guess. Yet shockingly, the surfaces of our desks can contain more bacteria than a toilet seat.  In some cases up to 400 times as many! The same goes for our phones, keyboards and other computer equipment.  Maybe a lunch break in the toilets isn’t as silly as it sounds…?

Stationery

Keeping your pens and pencils under lock and key could seem like a radical idea, but they can soon become communal items if you don’t. Think about all the unwashed hands that may have handled your paper clips!  How many mouths might your favourite ball point pen have entered before it makes its way back to your possession?  You yourself may be a pencil chewer – what kind of bacteria could be making its way into your mouth?  This all brings new meaning to the phrase ‘caring is sharing’!

The Water Cooler

It’s good practice to stretch your legs every couple of hours and head to the water cooler to get a drink of water.  This can also be the best place to catch the office gossip – but be careful that’s all you catch!  The dispensing button on water coolers can contain over 2 and a half million germs per square inch. Best remember to wash your hands straight afterwards!

 

There are several ways in which we can all help each other to combat the spread of bugs and germs at work, but none are more effective than regular investment in professional cleaning services like Brightr. Call us anytime for advice or a free quote on 01604 55 66 77.

What do you think lurks in your office sink?

Business cleaning can be a problem for business owners who either rent or own, and are responsible for their commercial property.  Being a commercial cleaning company, we take our responsibilities to those businesses seriously, as commercial spaces need to be clean on every level possible.

 

Your business is not likely to do well if your clients feel as though your premises (or even the people within it) are unhygienic.  But aside from that, you have to be overly cautious with regard to health and safety, so cleaning needs to be a major factor.  Slippery floors and tripping hazards just won’t cut it, and are just a couple of examples of how improper cleaning in a business environment could lead to big problems.

 

Employers have a duty of care to their employees, and one of those duties is to provide a hygienic and safe environment in which to work.  Studies have shown that there are much higher levels of staff sickness where hygiene is not satisfactory; germs thrive and multiply in dirty places which ultimately leads to the spread of infection and illness.

 

The Hygiene Council in the UK found that the hygiene of commercial office kitchens is somewhat lacking; swabs taken from office kitchens and canteens revealed that much less care is taken in these areas than at home.  Bacteria thrive best in damp and warm areas like sinks, and multiply much faster (levels double every 15 minutes) if left unchecked.  Dish cloths and sponges can be a hot bed for contamination, spreading bacteria and viruses over worktops and surfaces as well as all other things they come into contact with.  Washing up tends not to be as thorough too, with staff members rinsing rather than cleaning their plates, cups and mugs.  And if you can imagine that more than 50% of office taps contained dangerously high levels of bacteria compared to only 15% of flush handles in public toilets, you might rethink the cleaning routine!

 

The easiest way to defend yourself against these vastly multiplying bacteria, is to make sure that you, and all your staff practice thorough hand washing.  Regular disinfecting of frequently touched items, such as phones, keyboards, light switches, door handles, and even water cooler buttons will also help.

 

Many businesses just don’t have the time to take care of their own cleaning needs, so more and more are looking to hire a reputable cleaning company to take the stress and hassle out of cleaning duties.  By doing this, cleaning standards will be met, bacteria levels kept at bay and the business should run more smoothly, with fewer man hours being lost to sickness.

 

Sometimes it’s just better to stick to what you’re good at; at Brightr we have the whole commercial cleaning spectrum covered!

Interview with Chris Savage