Where do germs hide in the workplace?

Posted on 6th April 2021 by jask Media

Germs lurk everywhere, constantly threatening to infect us with any number of diseases. Work environments can easily turn into breeding grounds for bacteria since there so many places for them to hide. A regular and thorough cleaning schedule is therefore required to kill the germs that can make us sick. So where do germs hide in the workplace and what to do to limit their spread? 

Common hiding places for germs in the workplace

Where do germs hide in the workplace?

A workplace is a great place for spreading bacteria and viruses. Whether germs are brought in from home or public transport, it’s easy for them to spread and make people sick. From food poisoning bacteria like Salmonella to viruses like the flu and Covid-19, they love to hide away in offices, ready to sneak up on us when we’re least expecting it. 

To fight back against these harmful microorganisms, take control of your workplace and make sure the most touched areas in the office receive a high level of cleaning on a regular basis. Invest in commercial cleaning in Sheffield, Barnsley, or Rotherham to keep your office clean and hygienic. 


Recent research has revealed that the average office desk contains up to 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. There are a whole host of nasties present on desks, with studies showing that two-thirds of workers are at risk of becoming ill due to their dirty workstations. Failing to clean them regularly can encourage harmful bugs to breed, including Helicobacter pylori, E-coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. 


You may be surprised to hear that your keyboard is even worse than your desk. The same research revealed that your computer or laptop keyboard is a whopping 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Keyboards have very high levels of bacteria on them, with shared keyboards tending to harbour more bacteria than those used by only one person. The researchers found that most of the bacteria are types that tend to live on people, often on our skin and in our mouths and nasal passages. Therefore, it’s likely that most of the bacteria on keyboards come from our hands.


Office phones are surprisingly dirty, harbouring many types of harmful germs. We all know that mobile phones can get extremely dirty as we carry them around with us everywhere we go. However, it turns out that the phones in your office as just as unclean. They are common breeding grounds for bacteria since they come into close contact with people’s mouths. Germs quickly transfer to the surface of a phone where they’re ready and waiting to infect other users. Most office phones are overlooked when it comes to cleaning, even though they’re used multiple times every day. Next time you clean down your desk, don’t forget to give your phone a wipe down too. 

Elevator buttons 

Common hiding places for germs in the workplace

In a busy building, elevator buttons can be touched by dozens of different people every hour. What’s even more alarming is that these people will have come into contact with many kinds of bacteria and are primed to spread it via their hands. Even if elevator buttons are cleaned regularly, bacteria is still likely to build up to shocking levels. It’s not hard to see why elevators in busy offices are one of the primary points for cross-contamination and the spread of disease in the workplace.

Water cooler

Office water coolers provide a constant source of freshwater for employees. However, many of them may be putting people’s lives at risk. In an environmental health survey, 23 of 87 samples from dispensers were contaminated with bacteria. Several of the coolers that failed the test were located in offices. Scientists found coliforms, bacteria of the gut, in several samples. This may indicate faecal contamination. Organisations should clean coolers regularly, ideally once a week.

Office kitchen 

Since kitchens are shared environments where many people congregate at lunch and break times, they’re the ideal sites for germs to spread. As workers move about as they’re preparing their snack or making themselves a coffee, they’re touching surfaces and leaving behind germs for others to pick up. The coffee pot handle is the most commonly contaminated site in office kitchens. Microwave and refrigerator handles are also germ hotspots.


Many people think office bathrooms are the dirtiest area of the workplace. However, this may not actually be the case. Experts say that the bathroom is in fact one of the cleanest places in the office since many people consciously try to avoid touching surfaces there. Many people wipe the toilet seat or place toilet paper on it before they use it. Similarly, using a sleeve or hand towel to open the door is also common. What’s more is that cleaning teams pay a great deal of attention to toilet facilities in office places, making sure they stay clean and hygienic. 

Reception areas

Your reception may look clean and tidy, but there are harmful germs and bacteria hiding away ready to make people sick. This area is the first stop for everyone who enters the building, making it a major contamination hotspot. Germs are present on the front desk, chairs, tables, and even the magazines which people casually finger as they’re waiting. Anything you touch in the reception area has been contaminated by germs germ, which means they pose a potential danger to your health.

Contact Us

We hope that this article about where do germs hide in the workplace has assisted you. There are various steps you can take to prevent the spread of germs in your office, including encouraging staff to wash their hands often. However, the best way to protect people from the harmful bacteria hiding in the workplace is to invest in professional office cleaning in Sheffield, Barnsley, or Rotherham. The team at Direct Cleaning Services can clean your workplace to the highest possible standards. To discuss your cleaning requirements, call us on 0114 358 6204, 01709 230 152, or 01226 977 182. You can also send us a message via the website if you prefer.