Workers ‘have more opportunities to trade germs than ever before’

February 1st, 2013 Category: Office Cleaning

Employees have more of an opportunity to spread germs now than at any point in the past, an expert has noted.

According to Charles Gerba, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, workers are generally expected to operate in much bigger facilities today than they were 100 years ago.

Indeed, he stated that members of staff now typically go to work in a place that contains hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people.

Mr Gerba said this means that anyone who is carrying a bug, such as winter flu, is very likely to pass it on to lots of other people during their working day.

As a result, companies might find it a prudent move to bring in contract cleaners, so they can make sure their office space stays hygienic and free of infection.

Research by the University of Arizona has found that germs carried by sick workers are easily spread simply through touch, rather than coughing and sneezing.

This means that items used by lots of people, such as ICT equipment and desks, may be particularly badly hit by germs, in which case it is certainly a good idea to keep them clean, if only to prevent more people getting sick on a regular basis.

"Most people think it's coughing and sneezing that spreads germs, but the number of objects you touch is incredible, especially in this push-button generation," Mr Gerba observed.

"We push more buttons than any other generation in history."

Mr Gerba noted that about eight in ten people will go to work if they are ill, so that is a lot of people spreading germs to their colleagues.

Anyone who is feeling sick has therefore been encouraged to stay at home to prevent illness spreading throughout their office.

Mr Gerba added that since so many people now work in an office environment, a growing number of studies into office health and hygiene are being carried out by experts.