It is in everyone’s interest to keep the office as clean and hygienic as possible. But many employees seem to forget that they need to do their part. Here are six tips to help you ensure that your office stays as hygienic as possible.
Treat work like you would your home
It’s amazing how many people are fastidious with their cleaning regimes at home but seem to lose all interest in hygiene once they walk into work. You might spend more than 40 hours every week in your work environment, so it’s really in your interest to keep it as clean as possible. This means that everyone has to pitch in and treat the workspace like it is their own home. Even if you have an office cleaner remember that they might only come once a week, and it never hurts to do more cleaning than is necessary. So throughout the week look out for the areas that can cause the most problems.
Spilled something in the microwave? Clean it up so that it’s ready for the next person to use. They aren’t going to want to deal with your mess. And if your bin is overflowing, don’t just put try to cram something else on top. Take out the bag and put in a larger rubbish bin for collection. These are the types of things that you would do without thinking about it at home, so it’s time you did it in the office as well.
Make sure the sink basin is clean
Of course, one aspect of office hygiene that needs to be addressed is the bathroom. But often it’s often parts of the bathroom that we don’t expect that are causing the biggest problems. For example, research has been published that the famous Dyson Airblade hand dryers actually spread 60 times more germs that standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than paper towels.
Equally, while we think of bathroom basins as the place where we clean our hands, it’s also true that they can harbour a significant amount of germs. Make sure that the sink basin is cleaned regularly – more than once a week.
Pay attention to the fridge
The fridge is one of those difficult areas of the office. Even if you see something that has been there for several weeks, you don’t want to throw it away in case someone is saving it. And getting rid of someone else’s food has the potential to cause serious arguments come lunch time. But at the same time, you have to be realistic. It’s not fair to hog space in the fridge. It’s a good idea to set up rules such as: anything that hasn’t been removed by Friday will be thrown away. This stops the rather horribly unhygienic moment of finding a several-month-old lunch that no-one will own up to.
A water cooler moment
Almost every office has a water cooler, but they can be very easily forgotten as a potential place for bacteria to spread. The water cooler is touched many times throughout the day by almost everyone in the workplace, so it can really gather up germs very quickly. Make sure that there is a rota to keep the water cooler clean – if this isn’t done, it can lead to real problems.
Keep your keyboard spotless
It has been well documented that keyboards are one of the spots in the office that harbour the most bacteria. In fact, one report branded keyboards ‘dirtier than a toilet’. This means that if you have a keyboard that you never clean, it’s important for you to take action as soon as possible. Make a policy where staff should wipe down their keyboard at the end of every week with antibacterial wipes. This is especially important in offices where the staff takes part in hot-desking.
Wash up your mug every day
This is especially true in a workplace where you share mugs. Always remember to wash them at the end of every shift – leaving your mug unclean for a long time can lead to a build-up of bacteria that’s not just bad for you, but bad for the office as well.