Let’s face it, dirt is an inevitable part of our lives. When it invades your business, it’s time to do something about it. Even in an office that looks clean, there may be certain areas that seem to attract dirt like a magnet.
Staying ahead of the dirt in your office can mean the difference between an effective work space and an eyesore. Learn the top 5 hot zones for office dirt buildup and what to do about them.
Areas in your office that are the dirtiest
Since this is the one area used by the most people, it’s bound to be rife with germs. You may think you only have to worry about things like beverages spilled on the floor or crumbs on the table, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Surfaces like the refrigerator handle, the microwave, sink faucet, coffee pot and vending machine buttons tend to be the most unsanitary. These are the items that get touched every day (you’ve probably already touched at least one of them today) and they help bacteria spread from person to person. The refrigerator can also be a toxic mess by itself. Employees spill food inside and don’t wipe it up. Expired milk, long-forgotten sandwiches and bowls of no-longer-recognizable stuff can all serve to make your office refrigerator look like a bad science experiment. This also makes it one of the dirtiest areas in and top areas of office dirt buildup.
Studies show that your desk, where you likely spend a majority of your 40 hour week, can actually have more bacteria than a toilet seat. Millions of germs can be found in the average workspace, which includes your keyboard, drawer handles, and the front of the desk, your mouse and the doorknob. Things like sweat, food particles and dust can expose you to thousands of types of bacteria per square inch of surface area. Not to mention the germs that can accumulate if you eat at your desk. Most people admit that they never clean these items, which allows bacteria to grow and fester.
Printers, copiers and other office machines
As everyone scrambles to complete work quickly, these items are touched hundreds of times each day. And almost no one washes their hands before or after contact. Anywhere groups of people gather can also collect a multitude of germs. The buttons, cover and glass on these machines can be a veritable breeding ground for bacteria and germs from skin cells, food and other items we touch which is then transferred onto these surfaces.
The water fountain or water cooler
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked but filthiest places in your office. Maybe since they involve water, people perceive them as automatically clean. Also, our mouths don’t actually touch the fountain or spout, so we’re safe, right? Wrong. You still have to handle the dispenser, buttons and the cabinet where the cups are located. These are the items we often don’t think about cleaning.
Floors, carpets and upholstery
You bring everything from outside, inside by our clothing and foot ware. Dirt, dust, pollutants and everything you step in from the time you leave home to the moment you come into the office can wreak havoc on even the cleanest workplace. Dozens or even hundreds of people shuffling in and out each day is a recipe for filth. Whether employees and visitors take public transportation or just walk in from the parking lot, there is a multitude of bacteria and dirt they will encounter along the way. This is in addition to accidental spills and grimy hands and fingers making stains on furniture. The winter season can increase the problem, with excess moisture and salt trails on the floors. In many cases, a superficial vacuuming or hasty mop job will not be enough. Carpets and upholstery can trap food crumbs, odors and germs, which will ultimately affect employee health and productivity.
Why a clean office is important
It protects your reputation. While visitors and clients might not notice when your office is clean, they will surely take note if it’s dirty.
A dirty workplace affects your office culture. When cleanliness is not stressed, it will likely spill over into employee behavior and sanitation efforts. You can save time and money. If your office is not clean, allergens, dirt and bacteria can build up, causing illness. Excess office dirt buildup and stains may also affect the wear and tear of office furniture and floors, causing you to replace them more often.
What to do about office dirt buildup
Add adequate walk off entry mats in all entrances. Good walk off mats with great absorbing and “scraping” ability will help keep “dirt at the door”.
Avoiding germs is impossible. The best you can do is to take the necessary steps to get rid of them as much as possible and lessen their effect.
Wash your hands – with soap and warm to hot water. Experts recommend that you should wash your hands long enough to sing Happy Birthday or the ABCs song. Studies show that this simple habit can significantly reduce your likelihood for contracting colds, the flu and stomach ailments.
Clean and sanitize surfaces – regularly wipe down surfaces, like your keyboard and phone, with a disinfectant. If you eat at your desk, be sure to promptly clean any dishes, utensils and surfaces.
Hire a professional office cleaning crew – even with the best of intentions, there are surfaces and areas you may miss or do an inadequate job on when cleaning. Besides, you’ve got a business to run, so you can leave a thorough cleaning of your office to the professionals.
In addition to bathrooms and kitchens, it’s vital to have your furnishings, floors and fabrics professionally cleaned. Let the experts at EcoDry handle your toughest stains quickly and efficiently. Our ecofriendly products are great for carpets, tile, textiles and hard surfaces. We also provide preventative care to help you maintain a spotless, attractive office and help avoid office dirt buildup.