Many of us spend at least 40 hours a week in our office. While we keep our house clean and free from germs, how sure are we that our office is the same? Below is a list of 10 of the dirtiest office places and things that might shock you (in no particular order). Get ready to bring out your hand sanitizer.
10 (NOT) Surprisingly the Dirtiest Office Places and Things
Did you know that an average refrigerator houses 7,850 bacteria colony-forming units per square centimeter? The door handle in particular is one of the dirtiest office places and/or things. This makes sense because not many people think about cleaning the handle.
Many people use it but does each of them take the extra step of wiping it down before or after using the refrigerator? The inside is the same story. This is where you will find greasy take-away boxes, expired yoghurt containers, and moldy sandwiches. Bacteria thrives in these types of environments. As such, it is advisable to clear out the office refrigerator every two days.
Another one of the dirtiest office places that’s food-related. With the presence of a combination of meat and vegetable particles, the microwave creates the ideal shelter for bacteria. Remember that for germs to multiply, they need food, moisture, and warmth. These are all present in a microwave. Splattered food particles can also cause a potential health risk.
Oftentimes you’ll find yourself beside the water cooler when you need to quickly sneak away from your tasks. It’s a good place to catch up with your friends and be updated on what’s currently happening. Unbeknownst to you and your friend, the water cooler is a thriving place for bacteria. Did you know that there are 2.7 million germs per square inch on the average water spigot?
Is your office in a commercial building? Do people mostly use the lift to move from one floor to another? Better keep your sanitizer handy. The lift buttons are another one of the dirtiest office places. It holds and transfers the germs each time the buttons are pressed.
You may be expecting this already and anticipating it to pop up in this list. We continuously press each key for up to 8 hours every day. This makes the keyboard notorious for housing bacteria.
Be mindful of touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when you’re typing. Best to avoid eating while typing too. As a preventive measure, shake and wipe down your keyboard every week with a slightly damp cloth.
Similar to the keyboard, we place our hand on the mouse for up to 8 hours each day. Because of this, they are heavily exposed to sweat, food particles and dust which generate bacteria. Remember that an office mouse can contain up to 1,676 microbes per square inch making it one of the dirtiest office things. Make sure to clean your mouse regularly.
Hair fibers, sweat and earwax enable bacteria to spread quickly on your headphones. It will not help if you share your earphones with a colleague. If this is unavoidable, make sure to wipe it down before lending it to anyone. The same thing goes when you’re the one borrowing it. The bacteria in your earphones may cause facial and ear rashes or worse, lice.
Did you know that after just an hour’s use of earphones, bacteria and germs can already increase by 700 times? Remember this the next time you decide to borrow your colleague’s earphones or lend them your own.
Printer and copier
Most of the time, there’s only one unit that’s being shared by the entire wing. As a matter of fact, the average printer and copier machine is touched up to 300 times per day. This is why it’s considered as one of the dirtiest office places. The most touched parts are the interface and touchpad. To help clean down the machine, just wipe over the surfaces and keypad before each use.
Vending machine buttons
Always finding yourself craving for a snack and heading to the vending machine? You may need to reconsider bringing your own snack instead. It’s common to find greasy vending machine buttons especially at the edges. Curious as to why only the center part of the button is clean? That’s because the dirt in the center is always picked up by the user’s fingers.
The office phone
Sometimes, an office requires you to share your phone with your seatmate. At most, it’s shared by the whole department. If this is the case, it might be best to wear a mask and gloves when using it.
If you are afraid to look too extreme, a wipe down before and after using it may help. The handset is where most people will think the bacteria resides on. However, the dialing buttons can be as susceptible too.
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