The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has highlighted the importance of basic hygiene and common sense when it comes to preventing the spread of contagious diseases.

A clean and tidy work environment boosts productivity and morale, so keeping on top of the mess in your office should be a priority.  

With desks providing the perfect host for bacteria to flourish, maintaining a strict cleaning schedule is essential to ensuring employees remain happy and healthy in the workplace.

  • Health

With so many of us eating at our desk, the average office desk can actually host more bacteria than a public toilet seat! By cleaning desks by wiping them down and ensuring frequently used items such as the keyboard and mouse – where bacteria could be lurking – are sanitised on a regular basis is essential to avoid the spread of germs.

  • Dirty hands on keyboards and mice

It’s estimated that 80% of infections are transmitted by touch so any areas which are in frequent contact with human hands are potential trouble spots. The two office items that your staff are in contact with most often are probably keyboards and mice and, with the practice of “hot desking” becoming more common, a number of your employees could potentially use the same pieces of equipment in the space of a day.

But while the dangers of picking up infections from our keyboard or mouse are real, a way to control the problem is simple. A combination of hand washing or sanitising with frequent cleaning of keyboards and mice with anti-bacterial wipes can reduce the risk greatly.

  • Employees leaving dirty cutlery and crockery on their desks

Linked to desk meals is the issue of dirty dishes and cutlery that are often left on desks all afternoon. As well as being the perfect place for bacteria to grow, these can also attract potentially harmful pests such as flies.

The only real answer to this is to introduce a zero-tolerance policy – make sure everyone knows that they have to wash up when they’ve finished or load items into the office dishwasher.

  • Reduce stress

Improving your desk hygiene can significantly reduce stress levels throughout the workplace. A cluttered desk can make focusing on projects difficult and distracting, raising your level of stress throughout the day. Taking a quick five minutes at the end of the day to restore order and create space to improve your working life and attitude.

  • Create a better first impression

If your office receives visits from clients and customers, creating a great first impression is important for building relationships. Cluttered, untidy desks can damage the look and feel of the workplace, and could leave visitors with the impression that your organisation is also disorganised! Enforcing a clean desk policy is a great way of ensuring guests to your building will always have a good first impression.

Of course all these aren’t just suggestions about how to make an office more hygienic, they’ll also make it an altogether nicer place to work. So what better reason could there be for your workforce to get behind them?