While everyone knows the importance of keeping the office bathrooms and kitchens clean, it is easy to forget about the importance of ensuring that telephones and computer keyboards are free of dirt and bacteria.
While toilet seats and worktops are obvious bacteria breeding grounds, you’d probably be surprised by the amount of debris and grime which can build up on communication equipment over time, and they can be a hidden source of danger lurking in the workplace.
Although most office cleaners will dust the keyboards and telephones in the office on a regular basis, often wiping them down as part of the process with a wet cloth, this isn’t really sufficient to remove all of the ground in dust, bacteria and even makeup which accumulates with every passing day.
Why Are Computers and Telephones Such A Problem?
At one time, office workers were often the only person to use their computer keyboard or telephone, however these days this is no longer the case. Flexible working and hot-desking means that equipment is frequently shared between two or more workers, and that means that cross-infection is always a risk.
This is why telephones, and all of their attached components including headsets, handsets, cords and buttons are thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis with sanitising solutions and alcohol wipes.
Computer keyboards also represent an attractive breeding ground for the bacteria which can cause illness in the office, and therefore they need to be regularly cleaned with the same alcohol wipes and sanitisers, as well as brushed and vacuumed to remove any crumbs and dust collecting under the keys.
The Bacteria Statistics
It will probably shock you to discover that an office keyboard can harbour up to 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat, and these sobering statistics make it clear why they can be such a health hazard, particular in offices where workers often eat at their desks.
80% of infections are passed to others through touch, and the average office employee comes into contact with as many as 10 million bacteria on a daily basis, some of which can cause sickness which is severe enough to have to stay off work.
Some viruses like the common cold and influenza are able to survive on desks, keyboards and telephones for as long as 24 hours, and therefore a deep clean is a key part of protecting workers from illness while also ensuring that the office remains productive.
Although it’s impossible to eliminate all viruses and bacteria, the best solution is to use a sanitiser and alcohol wipes on telephones and keyboards regularly. With billions of pounds being lost every year because of staff illnesses, and with the average worker absence due to sickness being nine days, it’s essential to take steps to reduce the risk of disease from unsanitary equipment, not only to protect the workers’ well-being and health, but also to help the company to save money and to function more effectively.
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