7 Office Hygiene Basics That Most People Forget

by RobertKeith

Basic hygiene habits are ingrained in us as children and become second nature by the time we are adults entering the workforce.

Basic hygiene habits are ingrained in us as children and become second nature by the time we are adults entering the workforce. However, judging by the sweaty gym bags under desks, pile-up of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink (next to the dishwasher) and furry tupperware critters inhabiting the lunch-room fridge, it might be time to revisit the basics!

Your colleague’s preference for microwaved tuna lunches and pungent cologne might be beyond the power of your sway, but you can always start by showing a good example and (gently) reminding co-workers of these office hygiene basics that often get forgotten or overlooked during a busy day. These tips are bought to you by Count On Clean, a office cleaning company with a passion for personal hygine

1. Take care of number 1

Make sure you can attend to your own personal hygiene needs while at the office and don’t get stuck having to wear your lunch as a badge of honour during afternoon meetings.  Keep some travel-sized toiletries in your desk to freshen up throughout the day, clean a coffee dribble from clothing with some baby wipes or floss errant spinach strands from your teeth.  If you’re a bit of a disaster, pimp out your stash with a sewing kit and spare shirt to keep all your bases covered

2. Eat lunch away from your desk

Guilty of snacking and lunching at your desk to meet a last minute deadline?  Considering your humble desk has 100 times more germs than a kitchen table, you might want to give your eyes a screen break and socialise in the lunchroom instead.  Eating at your desk also increases the bacteria in your workspace, giving crumbs the opportunity to colonise your keyboard … not to mention grossing out your neighbour with your pungent curry leftovers.

Office Lunch Room
Office Lunch Room

3. Keep your workspace clean

Give said keyboard a thorough clean with disinfectant wipes regularly.  Don’t neglect your mouse, desk phone and mobile either, all of these are rife with germs and bacteria from being handled all the time.  Avoid cluttering up your desk with paper or snacks as they encourage dust and hungry little insect visitors.

4. Travel and exercise

If you use public transport to commute between your home and workplace, spare a thought for the number of hands that travel along the handrails at your local train station and pack some hand sanitiser.  Hitting the gym for a lunchtime workout?  Make sure you shower properly afterwards and be considerate with where you leave your smelly gym gear around the office.

5. Cold and flu

Don’t drag your snotty self to work if you’ve been stuck down during cold and flu season.  Besides prolonging your own suffering you’ll be taking down colleagues with you if you’re infectious. 

6. Hand washing

Seems like a no-brainer right?  Unfortunately recent research has shed some light on disconcerting bathroom habits among office workers identifying that more than 25% neglect to wash their hands every time they visit the bathroom.

Always Wash Your Hands
Always Wash Your Hands

7. Bathroom habits

Besides neglectful hand washing, office worker are apparently also guilty of taking work documents and mobile phones to the loo with them too.  With washroom habits like these, it’s not surprising that a single flu outbreak can affect nearly 40% of staff in some cases.  

Keep your bathroom habits clean
Keep your bathroom habits clean

Scary right?  Bust out these tips at work and share some of the scary stats about what goes on in the washroom (and what doesn’t!) around the water cooler and hopefully your team will ride out the next cold and flu season with fewer casualties.

Updated: 11/22/2015, RobertKeith
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