***This is a warning. This post is not for the faint of heart.***
Offices can harbor lots of germs. When I started working after college, I worked in an office next to an automobile shop. Though the office ceiling had a drop ceiling, the office would constantly get dirty from the auto service center. It was as clean as an auto service center could be, but with all the cars coming in and out, it was bound to spread dirt everywhere, even inside my office space. Because of this, I started feeling sick, especially in the winter months.
So, at my second job, I took it upon myself and clean my desk and common area regularly. Whenever I used anything, I washed it and put it away. This really helped with my health.
It is important to have a clean office environment. I am not saying you need to clean the entire office every day. A weekly or every other week cleaning will work just fine. It will not only help your employees from getting sick but also help with morale. It should be that you care for where you walk too. If you don't want to clean, hire a cleaning service.
Home offices can also be quite dirty. How often do you clean your home office? I mean really clean your office. Not just dry dusting. I am talking about wet dusting after taking papers off surfaces, clearing off table tops, cleaning the inside of the coffee machines, refrigerators, and microwaves, and even wiping down chairs.
***AD*** Boutique Rugs: Looking for rugs? Check out their wide variety of beautifully designed rugs.
Here are some stats I found on the subject:
20% of people clean their desk
50 % of people snack at their desk
62% eat lunch at their desk
A typical desk can harbor up to 10 million bacteria
This sounds scary, right? You may be eating in an area that has never been cleaned.
If you notice that you are getting sick more often, it could be your office environment. Unchanged air filters, spilled drinks not properly cleaned up, and shared desks can all create an environment that is dangerous to your health. But if you take a little time each week and clean up office areas, it will go a long way to combat those pesky germs.
Here are the top spots to clean in your office you should clean regularly.
PLACES TO CLEAN IN YOUR DESK AREA
Laptop keyboard and mouse
Phone display and case
Tablet displays and case
Remote controls and buttons
Clean your keyboard each morning or before you leave the office at night.
PLACES TO CLEAN IN YOUR COMMON AREA
Heating air filter
Regularly Used Mugs
Bathroom (toilet, sink, floor)
Keep spray cleaners or wipes out on surfaces to make it convenient for others to clean the area.
PLACES TO CLEAN IN YOUR WAITING ROOM AREA
Chair arm wrists
Sign in keyboard
Visitor gaming controllers
Don't forget to clean the kids' play area often.
That's it for now, I hope this helps you get motivated to take action and make it a habit to keep your office areas clean. Let's continue the conversation. Do you clean your desk regularly? What areas do you clean regularly? Please leave a comment below.
If you prefer to use cleaning products that are better for the environment, here are some that I found on Amazon.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.
My home office has gone through so much this year. We rescued feral kittens about 6 months ago. We were hoping to give them to a rescue, but nobody would take them. So they are now members of our household. Unfortunately, they've also taken over our office. The worst part is that they came to us with fleas. We had to scrub diatomaceous earth all over our wood floor. Well, in the process it got on EVERYTHING else and it is almost impossible to remove. I keep working at it. Someday we'll reclaim the office!
Wow, Erica. Sorry to hear that. That adds a new layer of stress to an office. Hope it resolves soon.
You're right about morale, Sabrina. When my work area is in order (and I know you're talking about cleanliness, not neatness), I feel better and am likely more productive. When clean, along with neat, my work area is the best; maybe my work too. An inspiring thought!
Now a question: I have a regular keyboard for my computer that must be harbouring more than just the trapped dust I see between the keys. What would you recommend I use? I've seen an air spray device that techie repair people use. What do you think of those things? Maybe they just get the simple dirt? Q-tips don't work that well, I find. What about the stuff that's really stuck between and maybe even under the keys? Looking forward to your reply. And thanks!
We had a little vacuum years ago but it didn't work well. They probably have better ones now.
We use compressed air in a can to clean out the "dry skin and dust" from the keyboard. You can find it at Staples any office supply store. Be sure to bring it outside when using it because it will release the dust everywhere. Then, we like to use a paper towel sprayed with Windex (glass cleaner) and then we press and wipe each key to clean the keys themselves. Be sure to never spray the keyboard directly. Of course, do this when the computer is off or when the keyboard is disconnected from the computer.
If the keyboard is attached (like a laptop), we like to use a paper towel sprayed with Windex. Once again, be sure to never spray the keyboard directly.
If there is something stubborn, a Q-tip works well. Dip the Q-tip into the Windex liquid and wipe it wherever the stubborn spot is.
There are ways to pop off the keys but each keyboard is different so I don't recommend doing this unless you do some research first to find out if and how your keyboard keys would pop off.
I hope this helps, Ramona.
Thanks for the tips.
I will admit, I have a messy desk. I eat at it, it is cluttered with paperwork, and empty coffee cups.
After reading your post, I am determined to make an effort to clean it up; until I get busy again and it falls into disrepair again.
Thanks for sharing, William. Good luck with it. I recommend cleaning the keyboard every week if possible. Keeping a small bottle of glass cleaner and paper towels near your desk makes it easy to do quickly.
The most difficult for me is to keep my desk clean and clear. No matter how hard I try to keep everything in order, the desk gets messy in no time.
Somehow I have learned to live in mess...But this should not be the solution at any cost! I need to be more serious, I guess
Rose M Griffith
Oh yeah do I hear you, Sabrina! When I worked in an office, I was a fiend cleaning doorknobs, telephones, desks, chairs. Yeech to the cooties left by too many sick employees visiting HR.
But at home, I'm as guilty as Ken and Marquita! I clean my office once a week when I do the general house cleaning. Ahem, I should do better at the keyboard cleaning to be sure.
When I travel, I carry the anti-bacterial wipes in a packet. The airplane table trays get wiped down, the TV remotes in the hotel, the desks, the phones--which I never use, but move out of the way.
That's a great suggestion, Rose. I may get some for my husband when he travels for work. =)
I work at home but I am guilty as charged when it comes to eating at my desk! Once I get going on a writing project I don't want to quit so when I realize it's been a long time since my last feeding I'll grab a quick sandwich or something. Okay, cleaning the home office just got pushed to the top of this week's task list. Thanks. Sabrina!
Now that I read your post Sabrina, I'm marching upstairs to my wife's home office with a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner in hand.
I ordered a product to clean my keyboard only to find it was very toxic. Thank you for suggesting some green alternatives.
You are welcome, Janet.
I clean my desk, keyboard and mouse on a daily basis. I am well aware of the germs that are hidden amongst them.
The bacteria counts are pretty scary. When I was still in the professional world, I found a great deal of variation in how well cleaning staff did their job from location to location. Very seldom were individual desks wiped. I have a home office now and I try to keep it fairly clean.
Thx for this post, Sabrina. That's pretty scary about all those bacteria growing in our home office! I admit that I don't clean my office as frequently as I should. But I am the only one who comes up here (except for the cat) and I open the window often to get fresh air in to keep it from being too dry.
Spot on about what needs to be cleaned in offices, Sabrina. It's unfortunate, isn't it, that most cleaners are not that meticulous. Had a fantastic maid in London. If women like her cleaned all offices in the world sick leave would be reduced on a global scale.
I do not sick but looking at the mess makes me sick and I really do think it effects morale. Today after getting the income tax ready I decided to tackle cleaning my office and I can't tell you how much better I feel. Good points.