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Let’s talk about office hygiene.  It’s a well-known fact that a clean, orderly work environment enhances staff morale and productivity. But does “clean” necessarily equal “hygienic”?

Offices tend to be the breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria: numerous people spending long hours not only working but also interacting, eating, etc.  In an article published by The Huffington Post UK, a team of researchers found that there are

  • 34 times more bacteria on a coffee pot handle than a school toilet seat,
  • 4 times more bacteria on a water dispenser handle than a cutting board, and
  • 3,5 times more bacteria on a conference room doorknob handle than a car steering wheel.

Certain species of office bacteria are directly linked to illnesses such as pneumonia and gastritis.  By ensuring a clean and hygienic work environment, an employer not only fulfils a health and safety requirement but also demonstrates care for employees’ overall well being, minimizing unproductive days due to low energy levels, brain fog or illness.

Certainly, employees can play their part too, co-developing hygiene policies and practices. The Canadian Safety Council has great recommendations.  Here are a couple of simple, yet effective tips:

  • Clean out the keyboard: Use an alcohol-based sanitizer for cleaning the keyboard. Simply blowing compressed air over it is not going to remove bacteria clinging to the surface. The best practice is to disinfect, AND use compressed air.
  • Dispose of unwanted food: Eating at the desk often causes a giant breeding ground for bacteria. Those accumulating crumbs may not be as harmless as they seem!  Isn’t it time to rethink that habit…?

The answer is quite simple:  Employers need to ensure office hygiene is taken care of, while employees can co-develop good office hygiene policies and practices with employers. Wise employers will partner with a commercial cleaning company who specializes in office hygiene.  Based in Toronto, we offer a professional service, tailor-made to cover all kinds of office cleaning services our clients require.