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Keeping your own workspace clean and hygienic

Earlier this week, we discussed how a rise in agile working and open plan office design is creating problems for privacy and personal storage.

As staff move nomadically around the space, collaborate more and share desk space and furniture more fluidly, this also means germs are able to spread more freely.

The average office desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat

According to shocking figures released by Printerland last year, the average office desk is thought to have almost 21,000 germs on it. That doesn’t even include the 3,295 on the keyboard, the 21,000 on your chair, the 1,676 on the mouse and the whopping 25,127 germs on your phone.

Office desk germs

What’s even more concerning is that the average office toilet seat was only found to have 49 germs on it, which means your office desk could be home to 400 times more germs than a shared toilet.

More facts and figures from the Printerland found that:

  • More than a fifth of UK offices are cleaned once a month or less
  • 67% of workers eat their lunch at their desks
  • 1 in 10 workers never clean their desks
  • Less than a third of workers follow guidelines about cleaning their workspace properly

Poor workspace costs more than £75 billion a year  

Aside from the obvious (and very serious) health risks this poses to office workers; poor workplace hygiene comes at a pretty hefty cost for business owners and the economy.

In 2017, Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey revealed that an average of 30.4 days was lost due to illness or sick-related under-performance. This brought a cost of £77.5 billion to the UK economy.

These figures demonstrated a 6.2% increase on the year before so we can only assume that this year’s statistics will be equally as shocking.

How to clean your personal workspace properly:

With the above information in mind, we’ve put together a few pieces of simple advice on how to sufficiently clean various parts of a workstation to improve office hygiene levels…

Office phone (25,127 germs)

  1. Unplug from electricity source
  2. Wipe handset, buttons and body with an antibacterial wipe
  3. Dry with microfiber cloth to remove dust and particles

Regularity: 1-3 times a week

Computer screens

  1. Wipe with an antibacterial wipe
  2. Dry with a microfiber cloth to remove particles

Top tip: Don’t use liquid products or paper towels as these could both damage screens.

Regularity: Once a month

How to clean office computer screen safely

Desk top/work surface (20,961 germs)

  1. Remove everything from the surface
  2. Spray with an antibacterial solution and wipe clean
  3. Dry with a separate cloth to remove particles

Top tip: If you spill anything or notice any stains, deal with them as you go to avoid germs harbouring over time.

Regularity: At the end of every day ideally, or at least twice a week

Keyboard (3,295 germs)

  1. Turn off and/or unplug from electricity source
  2. Turn upside down to shake out any loose debris between keys
  3. Blow away any other debris with a can of compressed air
  4. Wipe with an antibacterial wipe
  5. Dry clean with a microfiber cloth to remove particles

How to clean computer keyboard safely

Top tip: Once a month, remove each key on the board and wash in a liquid antibacterial solution. Dry thoroughly before reattaching or using.

Regularity: 1-2 times a week

Computer mouse (1,676 germs)

  1. Turn off and/or unplug from electricity source
  2. Roll wheel around to dislodge any particles
  3. Wipe all over with an antibacterial wipe
  4. Dry with a microfiber cloth

Top tip: Don’t use liquid or spray as it could leak into and damage internal parts.

Regularity: 1-2 times a week

Once you’re done here, head over to our Penketh’s Business Supplies online shop to stock up on all of the office cleaning products you’re going to need.

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