Germs, grime, bacteria and picking our noses at work

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

As England prepares for "Computer Cleaning Week" next week, one office products company asks 'How clean is your mouse?' as UK business loses GBP11.7 billion a year to sickness


If you're reading this while surrounded by used tissues, vitamin drinks and cough medicine, chances are you've called in sick today. Perhaps your boss wasn't sympathetic. After all, it's only a cold. But if they were aware that 60 percent of time-off-work illnesses are contracted from dirty equipment in the office, perhaps they'd clean up their act.


If that isn't enough to stop you in your tracks, send this link to your boss to persuade them of the benefits of a clean and healthy working environment. Next week, September 18-23, marks the start of the first-ever National Computer Cleaning Week in the United Kingdom. A visit to the Web site will provide both online and downloadable information on how important it is to keep your entire workspace free of germs, dust and dirt. And with U.K. businesses losing GBP11.7 billion a year to sickness, this is something that no boss can or should ignore.


A recent survey on hygiene in the workplace by U.K. office products company Durable found that:

- a staggering 75 percent of us have dirty monitors, which can lead to headaches, eye strain and nausea.

- 90 percent of us eat lunch at our desks, filling cracks in keyboards and smearing screens and telephones with dust, dirt, food crumbs and drink stains.

- a disgusting 72 percent of us even pick our noses at work!


While the popularity in hot desking has risen, astoundingly we don't seem to think twice about the germs cultivating in our desk environments. Colleagues sneezing and coughing over your workstation, dropping food crumbs into your keyboard or leaving makeup or saliva on your telephone, can lead to a high risk of disease and infection. Scientific studies have proven that our keyboards can even contain bacteria such as e-coli, MRSA and salmonella.


Grime guru Stewart Anderson, vice president of marketing at Durable, says: "Our research on office hygiene found some shocking results. The mystery remains as to why we spend fortunes on household cleaning products yet seem perfectly content to work in a germ ridden, bacteria infested place everyday. With the launch of our Web site and National Computer Cleaning Week, we hope to get everyone in action to clean up their work environment."


Key findings of the research:

- 90 percent of office workers eat lunch at their desks

- 22 percent of us do not wash our hands before preparing food at the office

- 65 percent of office workers go on to share PCs and telephones

- 72 percent of us pick our noses at work - yuk!

- 90 percent of offices claim to have cleaners in every day and yet 65 percent of those who responded actually wished they had cleaned their equipment themselves

- 75 percent of us have a dirty PC screen - and yet do nothing about it!

- 60 percent of us have had a cold in the past three months - no surprise there then!