The world is in full alert over the newest coronavirus, Covid-19. Because of this, people are more conscious than usual of what they are touching and where. One of the places people spend most of their time is at work. For this reason, it makes sense to be aware of all the places that germs love to hide in offices. The following are five of the biggest hotspots for germs in the office.
Think of all the people that come and go throughout the day, and then think that each of them has to open doors to enter and exit. We don’t know the handwashing habits of everyone that comes and goes, so naturally, door handles will have a lot of germs. Custodial staff should be very well aware of this and asked to sanitize all door handles frequently. Because of the spread of these germs, coupled with the desire to contain the spread of the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, all employees should wash their hands multiple times a day for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water.
Keys and Buttons
Offices have more than their fair share of buttons. Computer keyboards, telephones, copy machines, elevators and more are all found in offices. Usually, people don’t think too much about them so they aren’t cleaned. Sneezing, spills and virtually anything on your hands will attach to keys and buttons and breed all kinds of germs and bacteria. Because so many of these devices are used by multiple people, you are taking a big germy risk when you use them. Office custodial staff are not usually in the habit of sanitizing all of these things, so taking matters into your own hands with some sanitizing wipes before each time you use them is a great way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, flu and other illnesses.
In many offices, the coffee gets made by all kinds of different people. If you’re looking to de-germ your office area as a public service, this is a top spot to hit. The coffee maker is dark and damp, which is a prime location for bacterial growth. Clean out these coffee makers on a regular basis by running four cups of white vinegar and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Put a few cycles of water (three or more) through the maker until the vinegar scent is gone. Don’t forget to always wash the pot each day and sanitize the handle as well. Because people seldom wash their hands before grabbing the coffee pot, keeping that handle sanitized frequently will help prevent the spread of germs.
We all know that sinks in our homes are breeding grounds for germs. This is the case at the office as well, except those sinks and breakroom surfaces rarely get the same treatment as they do at home. All kinds of hands and all kinds of foods make their way onto these surfaces, including the taps. In fact, Alexandra Sifferlin with Time mentions that 75% of breakroom sink taps have an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) count of 300 or more. This level means that the spread of illness is likely. The sponges used to clean these areas are often old and filled with bacteria as well. Each day, sponges can be placed in the microwave for a few minutes and that will take care of most of the germs. Every few weeks, the sponge should be replaced. This prevents the spreading of germs to coffee cups and by extension, your mouth!
It goes without saying that the restrooms of an office will be a prime breeding ground for germs. Remember that faucet handles may be dirty or improperly sanitized. The toilet handles, toilet seats, sink counters and more may be cleaned, but because there are so many germs in the restroom, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of them all from a sanitization aspect. Using a paper towel to touch any surface, including tap handles is especially important to prevent the spread of germs that will lead to flu, cold, and even the coronavirus.