Germ magnets in the office
A recent study infected one person with a harmless virus in an office building with 80 people, and within two hours, the virus had contaminated the break room. With so many people sharing a space, germs are bound to spread. However, there are ways to protect yourself. Experts from the Texas A&M University College of Medicine discuss the most common hotspots to be wary of around your office. Note to self: You will definitely want to keep sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer nearby.
You may spend most of the day at your desk, and sometimes when you’re responding to an email, you may forget to cover your cough or sneeze. Or maybe you do cover your mouth, but your hands later touch your desk before you wash them. Either way, your desk is potentially a germ-riddled nest that you sit in for hours on end.
Be sure to keep sanitizing wipes around your desk so you can wipe it down throughout the day.
If you thought your desk was germy, imagine your phone! Not only are the buttons frequently touched without being cleaned, but your phone is also constantly exposed to the germs on your mouth and cheek.
Many people are hesitant about cleaning electronic devises, but if anything deserves a swipe of an alcohol-based wipe, it’s your phone. Just be careful not to spray cleaning solution directly on it—you don’t want to damage the circuitry. While you’re at it, don’t just stop with your office phone; your cell phone is about 10 times more germy than a toilet seat.
Mouse & keyboard
This part of your work station is less likely to get overlooked when you’re wiping down your work station—and for good reason. Your hands aren’t always the cleanest, and if you’re spending all your day at your computer, then you’re just piling up germs and dust.
Avoid getting direct moisture into any of the openings on your keyboard. Never spray water directly onto the keyboard, but instead wipe it with a clean, lint-free cloth that’s dampened with water and possibly an alcohol-based solution. Your mouse can be cleaned in much the same way.
It’s the first thing in the morning, you walk into the office and set down your keys or your bags and decide you need some caffeine. Or maybe it’s a particularly rough Monday and you head straight for the break room. Either way, chances are you’re not the only one reaching for the coffee.
If you’re the last to use the coffee pot, show some good office etiquette and rinse out the pot and scrub the handle a bit too.
If you ask anyone what the most germy room in any building is, the most common answer will be the bathroom. Although that may be the case in some places, one of the worst offenders is on your way in and out. Many people will touch every door handle, and that can expose the office to an abundance of viruses.
It’s important to wash your hands properly after you use the restroom and open the door with a paper towel.
First floor elevator button
Many people will come and go throughout the day, and if you get on the elevator out of the office, you’re likely hitting the first floor button—and so is everyone else leaving the building. This is the only hotspot on our list that has the potential to infect your entire building instead of just your floor or workspace.
Try either having a small hand sanitizer with you to use after getting off the elevator or press the button with your elbow or with another object like a pen or the tip of one of your keys.