A large proportion of our time is spent at work; in fact, the average employee will devote 90 000 hours of their lifetime to their job. Which kind of makes the office our second home. Unfortunately, this means that some employees have become so comfortable at the workplace that they’ve let a bad habit or two slip. These practices can lead to a dirty or germ-infested office, with the unhygienic trails often going undetected.

According to research conducted in the USA, 4,800 surfaces in office buildings were found to be “officially dirty.” These surfaces include taps, microwaves, computer keyboards and fridge doors. They also discovered that a typical office desk contains over 10 million bacteria. That’s even dirtier than a toilet seat!

Below we look at bad workplace habits that could end up spreading germs and posing risks to your employees’ health.

Munching at the desk

Working and snacking are not meant to share the same space for some very good reasons. Eating at your desk may seem convenient, especially considering that deadlines sometimes mean employees have no time to hit the cafeteria room, but in the long term, it’s an infestation waiting to happen. Eating at the desk leaves behind food particles which can attract insects and rodents, which can spread disease around the office.

Not emptying the trash bin

Like eating at the desk, an overflowing garbage bin is a breeding ground for rats, flies and maggots. If bins are not cleaned out regularly, either because there’s no cleaning crew or because employees are too lazy to throw out the waste, it will likely result in everyone keeping trash at their desk or squeezing more garbage into the bin, which only makes the problem worse.

Not purging the fridge

If the fridge compartments are filled to the brim with all the Tupperware, foil-wrapped food, and bottles of sauces, it can block the air vents. Cold air needs to circulate to keep food fresh and bacteria at bay. Overstuffing the fridge can hinder the vents from doing a proper job. Plus, the crowded space makes it difficult to see the foods that have gone bad and if there are any spills that have gone unnoticed for weeks, which can contaminate edible food and cause food poisoning.

Not cleaning up dirty dishes

Most offices have the dirty dishes problem – employees that are either too lazy or busy to clean up their Tupperware, mugs, plates and cutlery after they’ve eaten. When dishes are left to pile up for days on the kitchen counter or sink, mould can start to appear, not to mention all the pests such as ants and cockroaches that will certainly be attracted to oil, fat, and sugar sticking to dishes.

There are quite a few everyday routines that can invite germs into the office. While you can encourage employees to break these habits, it will probably be easier if you have a dedicated team of cleaners keeping the office germ free. From deep cleaning services to regular sanitising and disinfecting, a professional cleaning company can ensure you’ll have a better chance of winning the germ war.