Not There! Top 9 Places Office Germs Are Crawling at Your Workplace

Office Germs Keyboard Flu Plan

Get your hand sanitizer ready! There are obvious places we’ve learned germs crawl—bathrooms, door handles, people’s hands. But what about the not-so-obvious areas in your office you’ve never thought twice about?

As cold and flu season quickly approaches us, we’re going to help reveal office germs facts, and why it’s crucial to have a cold and flu prevention plan in place before it’s too late.

The Breakroom: Vending Machine Buttons, Refrigerator Door Handles, Microwave Door Handles, Sink Faucet Handles

According to a study by Kimberly-Clark Professional, scientists discovered an alarming percentage of bacteria is packed in your company’s breakroom. Vending machines showed 21% of bacteria, 26% on refrigerator door handles, 48% on microwave door handles, and a whopping 75% found on breakroom sink faucet handles. Yikes!

Copy Machine Buttons

You’ll never look at a copier the same way again—especially the Start button! During Hloom’s research, they also saw the photocopier is crawling with 1.2 billion CFUs per square inch. As you can imagine, all it takes is one person in the office to be ill and touch the copier for the virus to spread like wildfire on this popular machine we all likely use or come in contact with on a daily basis.


Office Germs Keyboard Flu Plan 3

Desk Surfaces

This might seem obvious at first, but you might be surprised to learn just how much bacteria and germs have accumulated on this surface. According to one recent study, 400 times more germs were found on office desks than found on a toilet seat. “Nobody ever cleans a desktop until they start sticking to it, from what I’ve found,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologists at the University of Arizona. “A lot of people eat and slop on their desk all the time so it basically turns into a bacteria cafeteria during the day, and that’s one of the reason you get a lot on your desktops.”

Cell Phones

Would it surprise you to learn we touch our phones at least 47 times a day? It’s true, says Deloitte. So you can only imagine whatever your hands touch throughout the day, it is now living on your phone—and rarely goes away unless you make an effort to clean it. And no matter how many times you wash your hands, you’re still picking up bacteria and germs from your device. Most cell phones carry a shocking 25,107 bacteria per square inch, which is worse than even a commonly touched doorknob in a building or a checkout screen at a store.

Coffee Pot Handles

Like many offices, the coffee station is a popular spot first thing in the morning. The only thing that may be on your mind is getting that first sip of caffeine to help you get started for the day. But what if you were getting more than just the coffee? Hloom discovered the coffee pot handle is riddled with germs and bacteria—108,592 colony forming units (CFU). Even more staggering, the experiment tested a virus being put on a frequently used doorknob in the office, and found that the first place the virus appeared was on coffee pot handles.

Office Germs Keyboard Flu Plan 2

Computer Keyboards

The first question to cross your mind might be, “I’m the only one who uses my computer keyboard, how would I get sick from it?” Well, think about everything you touch in the office throughout the day, and how you bring those same germs back to your keyboard. It’s been shown keyboard germs are worse than a toilet seat! In fact, a keyboard rakes in 7,500 bacteria per swab. How is that possible? A research company called “Which?” conducted an experiment where they took 33 keyboards from a London office and discovered five times more germs than a toilet seat.

If these office germs surprised you, let City Wide know if you need help with sanitizing, cleaning, or a flu prevention plan—either with janitorial supplies, preventative services, waste management, or air quality services. Our building maintenance experts can recommend strategies that will work for whatever challenge you faced last year and don’t want to face again this year.