Let’s be honest, how often do you bother to clean your workspace despite spending half of the day working at your desk? When you come into the office, you could be bringing in bacteria from your morning commute and or from your lunch outing and spreading them all over your computer screen, keyboard, mouse and office telephone when you touch them. If you eat or snack at your desk, there may be leftover spills and crumbs which may attract pests. A clean workspace ensures that your desk won’t end up being a hotbed of germs and bacteria, and cause you to feel unwell and fall ill. Read on for our guide on how often you should clean your workspace.
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Desk: Once a week
A group of researchers from the University of Arizona found that the average work station has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. If that doesn’t make you want to clean your desk often, we don’t know what will. Make it a habit to wipe it down with antibacterial wipes at least once a week.
Computer screen: Once every three weeks
You’ll be surprised at how often people don’t clean their computer screens because they think the lack of physical contact means it’s not a bed of germs. However, whenever you sneeze, cough or talk, your saliva and other germs can contaminate the screen.
Mouse: Once every three weeks
The mouse contains about 1,676 microbes per square inch so a wipe-down with antibacterial wipe is sufficient. However, do take the time thoroughly clean your mouse with a sanitiser or a cotton bud.
Keyboard: Once a week or every time you eat at your desk
The office keyboard is another item you should be concerned about. Whenever you eat at your desk, sneeze or forget to wash your hands after coming back from the bathroom, your office keyboard usually gets contaminated first. Research has found that infections usually spread from contact with contaminated surfaces so if you’re falling sick regularly, now you know why. If you’re always eating at your desk, it’s best to line your desk with a piece of paper or table mat first to make clean-up easier. It’s best to wipe down a shared keyboard before using it because you never know when it was last cleaned.
Office telephone: Once a week
According to the infographics done by the Cleaning Services Group in the UK, there is approximately 25,127 microbes per square inch on your office telephone. That’s almost 500 times more than what’s on your average toilet bowl.
So, how often should you be cleaning your office telephone? At least once a week, experts suggest. Get yourself some cottonbuds and really deep clean your telephone once in a while. Otherwise use an antibacterial wet wipe and wipe the entire receiver.
Headphones: Once a week
Nowadays, most companies allow you to have earphones or headphones on while working, so for some people, they use their headphones more often than their phones. Which is why all the more you need to clean it regularly. Regardless whether you use earphones, headphones or AirPods, you need to clean them once a week. Use an antibacterial wipe to clean the surface, and a cotton bud to reach every nook and cranny.
Mug: Depends on what you drink
Most people have a bit of only rinsing your cups after drinking water, but they forget that bacteria is transferred from their mouth to the cup. While you won’t see any stains (other than lipstick stains), bacteria is still present, so it’s best to rinse it with hot water between uses, and wash it with dishwashing liquid once a day. If you’re drinking tea or coffee, wash your cup immediately after to avoid stains or a stale smell.
Images: 123RF, Unsplash
Text: Atika Lim / The Singapore Women’s Weekly / February 2018
Additional text: Hidayah Idris