How Dirty Is Your Desk? And Why Does It Matter?

At this very moment, you might be reading this blog post at your work desk. This is likely a space you use every day without a second thought about how it might be impacting your well-being. We rely on our work stations to help us be productive while we’re on the clock, but if you don’t take care to clean and sanitize it regularly, it could cause you to use up your sick days.

The Truth About Your Desk
When you’re busy or have too few storage options at work, your desk can easily become a catch-all for paperwork, trash, dust, and debris. All that excessive clutter can make it difficult to concentrate, but it can also harbor germs. If you eat snacks or lunch at your desk — like half of all American workers do — you’re bound to find food particles there, as well. That means you could be dealing with mold or pests, too. In a word: YUCK.

The grossness doesn’t stop there. Data shows that office desks are more than 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Your desk has close to 10 million bacteria; the spot on which you most often rest your hands is home to 10,000 bacteria alone. And one University of Arizona found that the desks of female employees are especially prone to germs.

Think about it: when was the last time you even disinfected your desk? Even if you have help from commercial cleaning services, you’ll still need to be responsible for interim upkeep. Cold and flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces like your desk for up to 18 hours. When those surfaces aren’t regularly disinfected, bacteria can increase by up to 31% each day.

Not looking at your desk in disgust yet? Keep reading.

Type At Your Own Risk
These days, most of us use our computers on a near-constant basis. But have you really taken a good look at your monitor or your keyboard lately? If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned them, they’re probably covered in dust. There might even be crumbs or debris stuck in between the keys. Not pretty to look at, but nothing to really worry about… right?

Wrong. The average keyboard, computer mouse, and desk chair harbor some 21,000 germs per square inch. Your keyboard likely has 70% more bacteria than a toilet seat. Even scarier, a study out of Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital discovered that two deadly and drug-resistant types of bacteria (known as VRE and MRSA) can survive for up to 24 hours on a keyboard. If you share a desk with coworkers, these health risks only increase.

Answer Your Call, Get a Cold
And of course, we can’t forget about the office phone. Even though many of us like to rely on email correspondence, a phone connection is still a necessity for all kinds of positions. But regardless of whether you use a mobile phone or a landline, you could be risking your health every time you place a call. Office phones have around 25,000 germs per square inch, and mobile phones aren’t any better. In fact, your cell phone may be even worse. Recent studies have found that they carry 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. While sanitizing a smartphone is a bit trickier than cleaning a landline phone, you still need to do so frequently.

So how can you reduce your health risks? By cleaning your work area thoroughly and often. You can handle de-cluttering and disinfecting on your own, of course. You should also avoid eating at your desk and coming in to the office when you’re feeling unwell. But it’s also vital for employers to invest in commercial cleaning services. While some small tasks can be handled directly by employees, the only way to ensure your environment is safe and healthy is to hire commercial cleaning services. Between efforts made by employees and by commercial cleaning services, your office will be a happier and more productive place to be.

For more information on the office cleaning services Staunton VA residents trust, contact Lambert Cleaning today.