How clean is your workspace?

Feb 12, 2021 | Cleaning, Operations

If someone told you, the keyboard you use in your office had over 3,000 germs, and the desk it sat on had over 20,000 germs living on it,  would you sit there easily, working away or eating at your desk during the day?

A study conducted in 2004 by Dr Charles Gerber, an experienced microbiologist at the University of Arizona, found some shocking results that couldn’t be more relevant under the current circumstances.

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Has this shocked you?

Some frightful statistics are shown above.   Can you be confident that your desk is not harbouring all these nasty germs?  More than ever, it’s imperative that you understand how viruses and bacteria can be spread and make sure you are doing enough to help mitigate this.

FACT:  Did you know a sneeze can send around 100,000 contagious germs in the air at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour?  An article published by Healthline went into more detail around this.

What can you do about this?

Gerba conducted the first study of its kind, discovering the average office desk unbelievably harbours over 20,000 germs per square inch, this is 400 times more than the average toilet seat.  Studies have shown that unless office desks are wiped down during the day, the bacteria levels continue to climb, peaking after lunch.

The researchers discovered that bacteria levels increased an average of 19% to 31% on desktop surfaces, telephones, computer mice and keyboards for all the desks not wiped down throughout the day.

As well as investing in a professional cleaning company for your office daily cleaning an excellent way to kill bacteria and help stop the spread of germs is to clean your workspace throughout the day regularly.     

Is Hot desking safe?

Many companies enjoy the benefits of hot desking, and now the question is being asked, is this still safe?

The most obvious worry is the number of people using the same space throughout the day.  A hot desk can be home to one employee or many throughout the same day.

There are some simple steps an employer can take to keep the use of hot-desking within the office:

  • Create a robust cleaning process to be followed by each user of a hot desk
  • Allow time for sanitising workspace between users (build in 15-30 min cleaning times)
  • Delegate and manage a process for disinfecting of hot desks
  • Space the workstations six feet apart or more if space allows

If you are allowing the time for a complete sanitisation of the workspace along with a robust cleaning process, it is possible to keep the use of hot desks.

Cleaning Office Equipment

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We advise all our customers to treat the cleaning of their electronic office equipment as a priority. We understand now more than ever how personal hygiene and the disinfection of surfaces around us that we touch repeatedly are crucial in minimising the spread of germs and bacteria.

Did you know that any office worker can come into contact with up to 10 million disease-causing bacteria a day?  An article available on WebMD looks into the reasons for this.  Along with the fact that some viruses can survive on hard surfaces, like photocopiers and printers for longer than 48hrs, everyone must be doing their part in keeping the office clean. 

Carpet cleaning

Stats on the number of germs on an office carpet

Another area within the workplace that is often overlooked is carpet cleaning.   Even though your carpet is usually the largest part of most organisations’ facilities, few people pay it enough attention.  It is highly recommended to have your carpeted areas thoroughly cleaned every six months, or more frequently in high footfall areas. 

They might not look dirty, but your office carpet could potentially be hoarding 4,000 times more dirt than your office toilet.  Here an article in Men’s Health looked into this in more detail.

Investing in a deep clean for your carpet won’t only help with the spread of germs:

  • We all know that first impressions count when it comes to clients.   Do you want clients walking in, and the first thing they see is a coffee stain?   Vacuuming frequently helps with office carpets’ cleanliness, but this won’t clean up coffee stains or any other unsightly marks.  A professional carpet cleaner will have the right chemicals and tools to get the job done without damaging the carpet.
  • Another added benefit to deep clean your office carpets is the improvement of air quality within your office. Carpets trap all sorts of dust particles and release these into the air, causing a problem for employees with allergies.
  • Of course, the apparent benefit is productivity.  The germs on carpets can spread around the office, making employees sick.  Deep cleaning carpets regularly can help to stop this, and healthy employees reduce potential sick days.
  • Replacing carpets is a considerable expense for most offices.  Yes, carpets are durable, but no carpet is free from dirt and soil, these can cause damage to the carpet fibres, most evident in areas of high footfall.  Deep cleaning your office carpets routinely will minimise the damage to your carpets.

Shared Facilities

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If you saw a spillage on the surface or rubbish on the floor, would you leave it for the cleaner to sort out?  

A study conducted by SMC facilities discovered that 6% of 5000 people surveyed would because it’s not their problem.

Taking a responsible approach to the cleanliness of shared facilities is up to everyone that utilises these spaces.  It takes only seconds to wipe down a surface while waiting for the kettle to boil.   These seconds can be the fundamental difference between a germ-free environment or breeding ground for germs.

It’s fair to expect a professional cleaner to be thoroughly cleaning these spaces once a day. Still, everyone can play their part in keeping shared facilities’ cleanliness at a decent standard throughout the day.

Why should you deep clean?

A deep clean involves a more meticulous cleaning process.  It covers all the areas your regular cleaning doesn’t include: a daily or weekly clean focuses on hoovering, dusting and sanitising all the obvious touchpoints and surfaces.  A deep clean will clean everything that is not covered in the regular cleaning schedule, getting into all the hard to reach places or areas out of prominent view.  

A great way to build up trust with your cleaning provider is taking the time to walk through your premises with them and allowing them the opportunity to highlight some of the areas within your building which may require some attention.

What does an office deep clean involve?

Everything is the short answer.  A commercial deep clean will cover air vents, skirting boards, kitchen fridge, computer cables, to name just a few.  No area should be left untouched.  The cleaning operatives will meticulously work their way through the building, cleaning and sanitising each area of the office.

Cleaning for Health

The terminology we like to use when cleaning offices.  You need reassurance across the office that the dust and dirt have been removed and the knowledge you are protected against any viruses that could be active on touchable surfaces.

Are your cleaning operatives professionally trained?

Cleaning operatives should be taking proactive preventative steps to avoid spreading germs, bacteria, or viruses that may be lurking around your work environment.   

Here are seven reasons why you need a professional, trained, competent and reliable commercial cleaning service for your business:

  • Trained and skilled cleaning operatives
  • Deliver exceptional results
  • Specialist tools and equipment
  • A healthier environment
  • Saves you time 
  • Saves money
  • Reduces sick day

No matter what your business is, you want anyone who walks through your doors to have a great first impression of your business.  Hiring a professional cleaning service, with all the right accreditations can give you confidence that you are working with experts within the industry, providing a high standard of service, every time.

In Conclusion

The cleaning of your workplace should not be seen as a trivial part of your business.  A clean office is a productive office, and it can no longer be ignored how everyone contributes to the spreading of germs and bacteria.

Having a robust cleaning plan in place doesn’t have to be a headache. Working with a professional cleaning company that will take care of your cleaning requirements is the best way to ensure you are providing a clean and healthy working environment for your employees.

Hiring a professional cleaning team for your business gives employees the confidence that you’re doing all you can to provide a clean and safe working environment. Still, we can all do our bit to keep it clean throughout the working day.  Educating your employees on how they can contribute to a clean and healthy workplace, and providing them with the materials to do so is equally important.

We Clean Offices have created posters to help employees understand what they should be doing daily to help, which are free and available on request.  

With over 20 years of experience in the commercial cleaning industry, we truly understand what is required when cleaning for health.  If you are a business leader/owner and are not entirely sure what your cleaning requirements should be, we can help you.

We Clean Offices can help take care of all your cleaning needs, whether that be a one-off deep clean or ongoing daily cleaning.   Once we understand your cleaning requirements, we provide a cleaning schedule that fits your needs and is available to refer to when needed.

Call us on 0141 255 1968 or get in touch with us now to find out more about how we can help you

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