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Germs in the Office: Do You Know Where Your Phone Has Been? [Infographic]

Aug. 20, 2014
Think because you work in an office environment you're "safe?" Think again: Studies have found as many as 25,000 germs per square inch on an office telephone.

Providing a clean office environment is a key component of running an effective organization. Cleanliness is important for a company's brand persona and client perception, but it also has a major role to play for employee health and well-being and can directly influence productivity through the prevention of absences from work.

“Did you know that the average work desk is 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat?” asked David Smith, director of Cleaning Services Group, a UK-based cleaning services company.

According to Cleaning Services Group:

  • 60 percent of illnesses that result in absence from work are contracted from equipment in the office contaminated by E coli, staph and bacteria.
  • With 65 percent of office workers sharing phones and computers, and with a whopping 25,127 germs per square inch found on just a telephone, employers need to take cleanliness seriously.

This infographic explores the various germ zones in the office and outlines the economic impact that “sick days” cost companies every year.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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