If you’re perched at your desk right now, take a look at the cleanliness of it; is there your plate from lunchtime still there? Are there crumbs in your keyboard?  Dust on your screen? Do you tell yourself that you’ll have a ‘quick clean when you get round to it’, despite your to-do list being as long as your arm and you know full well you won’t ‘get round to it’ for months?

With busy office workers always glued to the desk, looking through stacks of paper and eating mindlessly as they work, it’s unsurprising that your office, and desk in particular, are likely to be ridden with germs and bacteria.  

The Initial Hygiene Report revealed that the average office desk contains a whopping 400 times more bacteria than the typical toilet seat. People always view bathrooms as dirty places, but it seems offices should be feared more than a regularly cleaned toilet - scary stuff.

If by this point you’d stopped reading to get out the anti-bacterial spray and/or wipes to blitz your desk out of disgust, I don’t blame you. It seems crazy that a room where people simply sit and work on computers can become so dirty, but if we look at the statistics it makes more sense… here’s where all of the bacteria come from:

Shockingly - and disturbingly - 1 in 4 office workers fail to wash their hands after using the loo, and 30% only use water and no soap; this is a poor attempt at hand-washing as just water is no good and can actually prompt bacteria to spread faster.  If everyone washed their hands after using the loo - which is shocking that this isn’t the norm anyway - then contamination would be reduced by 10%.

With these facts alone, it’s unsurprising that keyboards contain 3,295 microbes per square inch and computer monitors contain 1,676 microbes per square inch; a standard toilet seat? A mere 49 per square inch.

Dirty workspaces are affecting productivity too; the study reveals that employees spend around 2.2 days avoiding unhygienic areas, for example waiting for the cleaner toilet cubicle instead of spending that time working.

From this, it’s easy to conclude that a quarter of office workers need to be taught basic hygiene, and offices need to be cleaner as a whole. After reading this article it’s likely you’ll be more aware of the cleanliness of your desk so… happy cleaning!

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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