A recent survey of over 650 UK office employees indicates that the items touched the most are neglected during cleaning. It has been revealed 28% of telephones, 31% of keyboards and 36% of computer mice are not cleaned at all within the workspace.
Although it may appear many members of staff are turning a blind eye to office hygiene, a very similar percentage of employees are suffering the consequences of poor cleaning management. 32% stated, that due to poor cleanliness, they are using their own personal items to avoid communal chattels. This ranged from mugs, tupperware and bowls.
The GCC Facilities Management survey revealed that communal areas received the highest praise, with 39% satisfied with the condition of the toilets while only 16% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. The kitchen scored a satisfaction rate of 38% and the communal fridge was just behind at 37%.
Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, the health clinics medical director of Bupa UK, said: “Surfaces and equipment can harbour dirt, viruses and bacteria that can remain active for months. Without regular office cleaning and good personal hygiene – eg, antibacterial handwashing - there’s an increased chance of these surface germs transferring to you and giving you illnesses like flu, food poisoning and diarrhoea.”
Claire Maclean, managing director of GCC Facilities Management, said: “The findings show that desk cleanliness is easily neglected, despite the health risks that it carries and the knock-on effects it could have for businesses in terms of sickness, reduced capacity and absences. More needs to be done to firstly raise awareness of the health risks that dirtier working surfaces can have amongst office workers, and secondly businesses should take more action to ensure that their staff are working in a clean and healthy environment.”