Research has shown that the average desk is up to 400 times dirtier than a regularly used toilet seat. Poor hygiene in the workplace can cause illnesses to spread more easily and as a result more people are likely to be taking time off. This is why it is so important that we take hygiene seriously at work.
Most germs are spread from surfaces that are touched frequently, such as lift buttons, handrails, desks, telephone handsets, door handles and toilet flushes. You should encourage your staff to wash their hands regularly and provide hand sanitisers to help minimise the spread of germs throughout the workplace.
So how can we all help with workplace hygiene?
Remember how we all started washing our hands more regularly and using hand sanitizers during the Swine Flu Pandemic in 2009. Well there is no reason why we shouldn’t be practicing good hygiene in this way all the time. Carry a hand santiser with you, wash your hands regularly, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and dispose of used tissues immediately.
At Your Desk
Items on your desk that are likely to be full of bacteria include your keyboard, mouse and telephone handset. Use anti-bacterial wipes to clean your telephone handset and mouth piece on a regular basis. Try not to eat at your desk, especially over your keyboard as food will fall into the cracks and will be hard to remove. Clean your desk regularly and remove crumbs from your keyboard by turning it upside down and shaking over a bin.
On your way to work
Travelling to work on public transport means that you will be exposed to many germs every single day. Standing close to other people together with a lack of air movement means that germs spread more easily than they do in other environments. Carry a hand sanitiser with you and use it before, during and after your journey and try to avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily.
In the kitchen
Everyone who uses the kitchen should be responsible for cleaning up after themselves! Mugs and other crockery should be washed and dried before putting away. Using disposable clothes are more hygienic than re-usable clothes that often sit and collect germs. Provide cleaning products for your staff to use, so they can wipe round the kitchen area and keep it as clean as possible. Make sure that food is stored in airtight containers and refrigerated if needed.
Stay at home
If you are ill, stay at home so you don’t spread your germs to other people. You may feel guilty about taking the time off, but your boss will thank you in the long run for not passing on your germs to others.