We have assigned new importance to office hygiene following the emergence of COVID-19 two years ago, but despite enhanced cleaning regimens, there are still areas where germs can thrive.
The pandemic has meant that businesses have become more conscious of ensuring that communal spaces in offices are kept safe for workers who have returned to the office, meaning it is more important than ever to get a clear picture of the hazards and dangerous areas that could be harbouring gears and bacteria.
Researchers swabbed the main touchpoints in offices to test for aerobic bacteria, yeast and mould. The swabs were then processed and tested to find the amount of colony-forming units per square centimetre, to reveal the main offenders for high levels of bacteria and fungal cells.
The research found that the computer mouse was the filthiest touchpoint in the office, with 250 bacteria colonies per agar, and 225 yeast colonies, almost double that found anywhere else in the office.
The germ hotspots of the office as revealed by the study were:
Computer mouse (580 combined colony forming units)
Kettle (336.6 combined colony forming units)
Fridge (295 combined colony forming units)
Laptop (264.8 combined colony forming units)
Bathroom lock (188 combined colony forming units)
Hand sanitiser bottle (175.5 combined colony forming units)
Printer (100.5 combined colony forming units)
Light switch (99 combined colony forming units)
Desk phone (96.5 combined colony forming units)
Kitchen cupboard (67.9 combined colony forming units)
Other key areas which saw a high level of germs and bacteria included a laptop, bathroom lock and hand sanitiser bottle. The hand sanitiser bottle came top for the level of mould formation following the incubation period.
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