(Author reaches for isopropyl alcohol wipes.)
That is the trouble. You could be, as this user is, the most exact of technical cleaners, but I would imagine that surprisingly few of us think how physically clean our computers are. I clean my screen because I look at it and can see the dirt; however, I rarely give close inspection to my keyboard and mouse.
“Which?” commissioned an investigation of their own keyboards and other pieces of office technical equipment. Their results were disturbing. They learned that the average keyboard has more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Sicknesses from this source goes by the name “QWERTY tummy” taken from the first letters on the keyboard. After the study they removed and quarantined one keyboard, such were the bacteria levels! What do you think was the worst office item for bacteria? The humble keycard. This can have more bacteria than the average loved pet toy.
When you think about how much consideration we give to cleaning washroom environments and food preparation areas, you wonder why we don’t pay more attention to work station environments.
There are some simple suggestions that could reduce this potential vector for workplace sickness:
- To clear your desk before going home so that office cleaners can provide a deeper clean
- By blowing dirt out of your keyboard with compressed air
- Staff should try to avoid eating at their desks, which has the bonus of stress reduction
- We can think more about where we put our phones and avoid taking them to the washroom
- Getting your workplace to add keyboard and mouse cleaning to the cleaner’s rounds using compressed air and isopropyl alcohol cleaning spray
What policy changes can our facilities and HR teams implement to lower this risk?
- Request all staff unplug mice and keyboards before heading home for the weekend so cleaning teams can clean them
- Educating staff on the levels of bacteria contained within their technology interfaces
- By providing technology cleaning stations for people to clean their phones, keycards, laptops, etc. with compressed air, isopropyl alcohol wipes and instructional posters
- Empowering cleaning teams to use technology cleaning resources
What are the key points for cleaning technology?
- Turn off all power and unplug from the mains
- Start cleaning with compressed air for all technology with gaps (i.e. keyboards, mice, laptops, etc.)
- Move on to isopropyl alcohol wipes paying extra attention to high use areas (space bar, touchpad, mouse buttons, etc.)
- Allow to dry before plugging back in and powering on
Working on this article has inspired a clean up, and policy review, within our own workplace. Look through our website for other smart ideas on how to keep your business healthy.
Contact Zenith Washrooms today to discuss your washroom hygiene needs.