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Friday, August 23, 2013

Men win! Their desks are the dirtiest place in the office

Men's work areas are dirtier than women's per study data
Men's desks have more bateria
By Carrie Hughes

These days many of us spend a large part of our day sitting in front of a computer, shedding skin and spreading bacteria. Although this is only natural, some people do seem to be considerably dirtier than others!

A recent survey found that men’s desks were the dirtiest place in the office. The university of San Diego study tested several different areas of offices and found high levels of bacteria, deriving from human skin, soil and plants. Chair arm rests and phones were found to be covered in billions of bacteria but mens desks had the highst bacteria levels of all.

Dirty boys

Researchers tested different office areas for 450 types of bacteria and noted the gender of the occupants of desks. The results showed that men’s desks had significantly more bacterial cells than women’s.

One explanation of this phenomenon is that men are larger than women and have a greater surface area to grow bacteria on, but the scientists conducting the study believe it’s more likely that men simply wash their hands and brush their teeth less often than women.

Mystery microbes

At present, we understand that bacteria are everywhere, but there is still little knowledge surrounding exactly how they work – and when it comes to office based microbes we know even less. The recent study could help provide clues about ‘sick building syndrome’, and other health related issues, but also give an insight into the type of bacteria that grow in office environments and what we can learn from them.

Bad call

Another study conducted in London recently found that 16% of the phones and hands of users contained E.coli, a potentially dangerous bacteria that derives from faeces. The researchers, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, swabbed samples from the phones and hands of 780 people and once again the high level of E.coli was surmised to be caused by a lack of hand washing after using the toilet.

Clean up

So whatever type of office environment you work in, it’s more than likely that not everyone will be playing by the rules, so if you want to ensure your workspace isn’t a health hazard it’s a good idea to hire a professional cleaner to come in and work their magic.

The benefits of clean

A clean office is a happier and healthier place to work. If you want your office to be a pleasant environment then keep it clean and clear!

We all love the feeling of having a good sort out at home and getting everything organised – with a little bit of work and the help of a professional cleaning company, you can create that feeling in your office all the time.

Although some bacteria is good, you certainly don’t need desks, phones and hands covered in E.coli lurking round your office. When you opt to use a professional cleaning service you can ensure that the places in your office that are likely to be the dirtiest are thoroughly and properly cleaned.

About the author: Carrie Hughes has over 10 years experience working in office envrionments specifically in HR. Her passion is the management of people, ensuring a happy and efficient work force through the management of both staff and their environment. 

* Image license: US-PD