If you are like me, you spend a lot of time at work. Work is good for a lot of things. Obviously it gives you that paycheck that everyone else from the banks to the insurance companies want you to have for them. Work can also gives you a sense of purpose. People are relying on you to do your job. They need you there. Work can also give you a sense of accomplishment. You are getting things done. And even if you aren’t saving the world, you are saving someones world. But could your work also be giving you illness?
Recently, someone did a study where they swabbed nearly 5,000 surfaces in several different types of office buildings that house about 3,000 employees. They then tested those swabs with an ATP meter. (ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate, and that is a molecule found in animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast and mold cells.) The more ATP found on a surface, the more likely it’s flourishing with bacteria and viruses. An ATP reading of over 100 was considered bad, and a reading of over 300 was a high risk of spreading illness. So what was some of the dirtiest things at work?
The results were not good. 91% of break room sinks had a reading over 100 with 75% of them over 300. 80% of microwave oven for handles were over 100, and 48% of them over 300. 69% of refrigerators, 53% of water fountains, and 48% of coffee pots all had a reading over 100. Do those results make you want to go out for lunch? I know I’m thinking about what restaurants are close. And maybe I’ll just get some coffee on the way into work.
Most of us know (and try to ignore) that the bathroom is one of the dirtiest things at work, but the break room we like to pretend is clean. I mean, that is where we eat. Of course, it isn’t just the break room that is a haven for germs. Over 50% of keyboards, computer mice, and desk telephones also had readings over 100. Would people think I’m strange if I wore surgical gloves at work?
I think that if there is a lesson to be learned in all of this, it is that the average office employee is far to busy doing their job to spend enough time properly cleaning. To be honest, that isn’t really a bad thing because cleaning crews can generally be brought in cheaper then paying your office staff to clean. And unlike your office staff, a good cleaning company is trained on the proper methods to use to sanitize and disinfect all of the high traffic and touchable surfaces in your office. This is a good thing because some studies have shown that proper cleaning and sanitizing can help office workers reduce their rates of cold, flu and stomach illness by up to 80%. That means less sick days, and a more productive office.
Give Summit Janitorial a call, and we can help you set up a cleaning schedule that will help keep your office staff healthy and happy, as well as keeping your break room fresh and clean.