The 6 Golden Rules of Office Hygiene
Posted on 28th March 2019 by Keith Hirst
1. Eat away from your desk
One of the top pet peeves of office etiquette is colleagues leaving dirty plates on their desks. From half-eaten sandwiches to ketchup smears, people hate seeing it. Eating at your desk can be surprisingly unsanitary, subjecting both yourself and your colleagues to stomach-churning bacteria.
Have you ever wondered how many germs are scattered all over your keyboard, computer mouse, telephone, or even the pens you borrow? Then you go to pick up a sandwich, transferring all of the nasty bacteria that’s been gathering on your keyboard to your food and subsequently, into your system, potentially making you poorly.
You also don’t want to be finding old crumbs or soggy lettuce leaves trapped under mouse mats. Instead, wash your hands before and after eating and have your meals in designated eating areas; they’re likely to be considerably cleaner than your desk.
2. Dispose of food packaging immediately
While general rubbish can be left until the end of the day, it’s important to dispose of all packaging which has come into contact with food or drink. This stops a buildup of smelly rubbish developing in the office. A smelly office isn’t a pleasant environment to work in. Think of your fellow colleagues and chuck your food smeared packaging in the bin.
3. Cover coughs and sneezes
Offices provide the perfect environment for germs to spread. They’re large spaces, filled with a significant number of people, all using germ infested equipment and disgustingly, not everyone washes their hands when they finish in the loo. Therefore, it’s no surprise that employees are contracting stomach bugs, coughs and colds.
To help prevent the spread of bacteria, use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough, likewise, cover your nose when you sneeze, especially if you have a cold. Put the tissue in the bin and wash your hands immediately, this stops your cold-causing germs being transferred onto door handles, ensuring you don’t pass it around the entire office.
4. Dry your hands thoroughly after you wash them
Wet hands after washing can cause an increase in the spread of bacteria. This is mainly due to bacteria being maintained in a physiological state, making them better able to survive in a new environment. Basically, the germs will live on despite you washing your hands in the first place. Make sure you dry your hands with paper towels (preferably), if not, a simple hand dryer would do the job, but don’t leave your hands to drip dry.
5. Change communal dishcloths and sponges regularly
Water isn’t the only thing that sponges can soak up. As food waste gradually expires, it acquires bacteria. The moist nature of the sponge makes it the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. To ensure you’re using clean sponges, leave them to soak in a solution of mild bleach and clean water at the end of each working day, and completely replace them once a month.
6. Maintain personal hygiene
This rule isn’t only good for you, but your colleagues as well. No one wants to spend 8 hours a day next to someone who smells a bit like body odour and doesn’t clean their teeth. For many offices, personal appearance is a fundamental aspect of company policy. Healthy hygiene habits include:
- Showering regularly.
- Keeping nails a suitable length and cleaning under them.
- Thoroughly brushing your teeth.
- Washing your hands before and after mealtimes and after trips to the bathroom.
Direct Cleaning Services is a proficient cleaning business that ensures excellent service. Our knowledge and expertise are fundamental in knowing which areas to prioritise and how often to clean depending on the specifics of your business. For any advice, or to enquire about any of the cleaning services we offer, give our friendly team a call today.