Keeping Clean in 2021: Why Your Office is the Dirtiest Place You’ll Ever Visit 

Rohan Mathew

Did you know that the average workplace desk can be more than 100 times dirtier than your kitchen table? If that’s not attention-grabbing enough, new research has shown that the average desk in an office space has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Yuck.

So, what does this mean exactly? Further research has shown that roughly ⅔ of office personnel are at risk of getting sick due to poor office cleanliness. And, as we’ve all seen after the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for sanitary workspaces is critical to the health of all people who frequent the workplace. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker spends roughly 1,800 hours per year at work. While this kind of statistic is depressing enough, the fact that most offices are teeming with infectious bacteria is quite alarming, to say the least.

Thankfully, there are those who provide cleaning services specifically for commercial spaces. Companies such as Tidy TN commercial cleaning services in Nashville is a company that provides specialty services dedicated to keeping your office clean on a year-round basis.

Here, we’ll explore the filthy secrets that are lurking in the most unsuspecting corners of your office, and the importance of office cleanliness.

Post-COVID Cleanliness

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire world in the spring of 2020. This was alarming on many levels specifically due to the highly infectious nature of the virus. Over time, we learned that the virus had the uncanny ability to live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. 

While the information surrounding the COVID-19 virus has fluctuated in scope as scientists and pathologists learn more about the disease, one thing has remained a constant factor; the virus is easy to transmit and hard to kill. 

Viruses such as COVID-19 can be detected in aerosols for up to three hours, and depending on the nature of the surface can stay alive for several hours, or days. And, due to the high rate of infections and hospitalizations, this makes it all the more critical to keep all surfaces (especially in an office space) clean at all times. 

No matter what you believe regarding the political rhetoric surrounding COVID-19, how effective masks are, or any other aspect of COVID-19 that’s found itself at the polarizing mercy of partisan politics, the fact remains that without proper sanitation, viruses can spread quickly and sometimes can be deadly. Many offices have even incorporated sneeze guards in the office design to prevent the spread.

The Common Work Desk

Nobody wants to hear that their faithful work desk is a virtual petri dish full of bacteria. It may come as a surprise to you to hear this, but the fact is it’s absolutely true. 

Whether you’re sitting at your desk talking on the phone (we’ll get to phones shortly), or hammering out those TPS reports for Lumbergh, you’re sitting among an audience of bacteria watching your every move. 

The fact is, it’s actually quite crowded in your office. Need a bit of supportive evidence? Well, for example, in 2004, research performed by microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba found that the average work desk harbors over 10,000 different forms of bacteria. 

As you spend more of your time at your desk than you do in your recliner at home, this is an alarming statistic.

Your Office Chair

If you have a desk, you have to have a chair, right? Unless you’re one of those who’ve learned the art of floating meditation, chances are you’re probably going to sit in a chair of some sort while behind your desk at work. 

Once again, your chair is a feeding ground for bacteria of all shapes and sizes. Studies in 2012, through the use of swabbing, found that an average office chair holds more bacteria than a desktop, keyboard, phone, and mouse combined. 

So, when you hire out that commercial cleaning service to rid your office space of bacteria, make sure they’re wiping down the seat and armrests thoroughly. 

Your Phone

We’re not going to talk about your cell phone. But, don’t worry. It’s just as germ-infested as everything else we’ve mentioned thus far. Instead, let’s focus on your office phone.

When it comes to your office phone, this is one of the more used items in your office. And not only that, you might not be the only person using it if you work in a shared space. Studies conducted by Dr. Gerba also concluded that there are over 25,000 germs for every square inch of your phone. This means that your phone is literally covered with bacteria, and you hold it up to your mouth. 

Without proper cleaning, your phone could ultimately become home to millions of bacteria that could potentially cause you serious illness. 

The Elevator 

Some of us might not have the luxury of taking an elevator up to the 43rd floor to meet with the big boss and get that six-figure raise. But, this might be a good thing. 

In a study published in Open Medicine in 2014, research found that over 60 percent of all elevator buttons tested showed signs of significant bacterial growth. Bacteria such as fecal coliform (usually found on toilet seats), Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus were among the bacteria found, and the latter two are direct causes of illnesses such as Staph infection and Strep throat.

Time to Clean Up

Now that you’re aware of what an absolute disaster your office is, consider this; the mug you drink coffee from, the keyboard you type on, the mouse you click with, and even the pens on your desk that you might nibble on from time to time all house millions of bacteria. 

With the rise of COVID-19, we’ve seen the heightened need for cleanliness in all areas of the office. Not only do you want to avoid the spread of a potentially deadly virus, but you also want to keep your office safe for yourself and your coworkers. 

When it’s all said and done, unless you’re going to do it yourself, the best strategy to keep office hygiene in check is to enlist the services of the professionals.