While we all might breathe a collective sigh of relief when flu season is over that does not mean the germs just fade away into the summer sunlight. Unfortunately, germs and illness can still be spread regardless of the season. Here are some of the surprising spots within your office that contain germs.
#1 Germiest Place In Your Office: The Breakroom
You might be surprised that it’s not the restroom! Nope, the germiest place in your office is likely the last place you imagine it would be, especially since you probably eat, or at least store, your meals there. It’s the breakroom.
The refrigerator, microwave, countertops, sinks, faucet handles, and table tops can all be thick with grime if they are not wiped down or cleaned out on a regular basis. Old food particles or sticky messes are breeding grounds for germs, and if your coworkers aren’t careful with their leftovers, you’re likely to be infected.
The Germiest Item in the Breakroom: The Sponge
While you probably aren’t cleaning your dishes for sanitation if you’re taking them home with you, the sponge might still be used to make sure all the food is off of your dish. But when was the last time that sponge was switched out or even sanitized? Did you wash your hands after you touched it? Breakroom sponges can have upwards of 10 million bacteria per square inch and are likely not changed out or sanitized nearly enough. If you use this sponge for any reason, thoroughly wash your hands after.
#2 Germiest Place In Your Office: Your Desk
You read that right. We still aren’t to the restroom! When you think of all the contact you have with the outside world before you reach the office— even just pushing open the front door or hitting the button to ride the elevator up— your hands come into contact with a lot of germs. Do you always wash them or use sanitizer prior to touching your keyboard, mouse, or telephone?
Your briefcase or purse has most likely been placed on the floor of another office in a meeting. When you go to lunch, you have probably put your briefcase or purse underneath the table in the restaurant. Have you ever set it on your desk when you walk into your office? How often do you wipe down your desk?
Your workspace becomes an even germier place if you work in an open office plan. Your desk might be just where ever you sit when you come to work in the morning. It might be a different spot when you come back from lunch.
The Germiest Item On Your Desk: Your Keyboard
A study by Kimberly Clark Professional tested over 5,000 surfaces for ATP molecules. The presence of this molecule can indicate high levels of virus and bacteria present. The higher the number of ATP molecules, the more virus and bacteria present. 69% of office keyboards tested for over 100 ATP. This might make you think twice before you send out that email and head to lunch before washing your hands!
#3 Germiest Place In Your Office- The Waiting Area
Yes, we have reached the end of the list without mentioning the restroom. Kimberly Clark Professional studies say that the restroom is actually low on the list thanks to the extra attention generally paid to this area of the office by your cleaning company. There’s a high likelihood that it is thoroughly cleaned every day, if not multiple times a day.
The waiting area, however, has many different people coming from many different places visiting it all day long. Construction workers or handymen who have been in other offices might make a stop in the waiting area before continuing on to their work. Your clients may wait on the chairs and couches, and even your own employees might sit in the waiting area while they wait for a colleague to head out for lunch.
The buildup of dirt and germs on the couches, tables, door handles, door frames, carpets, and rugs can be overlooked. Make sure when you hire a cleaning company, close attention will be paid to the cleaning of this area.
The Germiest Item In Your Waiting Area: Armrests on Chairs and Couches
The door handle can be a likely culprit as well, but many offices have automatic doors. However, almost all offices will have seating in the waiting area. You’d like to think everyone who comes to your office has good hygiene, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Armrests on chairs and couches may get vacuumed off but do they get disinfected? Mention this to your cleaning company to make a plan to make your waiting area less germy!
When you hire a cleaning company, it’s important that they address the high traffic, and therefore high risk, spots in your office that are hotbeds of germs and viruses. CSG has years of experience in janitorial cleaning and over 40 locations nationwide to serve you. Call our customer service to talk about how our cleaning service can help you keep your office a healthy working environment.