Here it comes, the usual blah about talking a break, you need to get out more. Actually, just lift your keyboard and lunch is there – from yesterday, or the day before, or maybe last week.
Not all of it, of course. You ate that.
But there’s plenty of crumbs and bits. Along with grit, dust bunnies and other yuck. Maybe not enough for a mouse or cockroach – but great for a whole colony of bacteria. A few million e.coli for instance, or rampant staphylococcus – a legend in its own lunch time.
That’s right, germs.
Just sitting there, waiting for you to touch them – and put your fingers in your mouth ten minutes later.
Because that’s what we do, you know. Touch our mouth, eyes and nose every few minutes, sometimes 3,000 times a day.
One touch is all it takes
Exactly how that cold, flu or tummy bug starts – or whatever nasty it is that starts at the office.
Because you haven’t washed your hands, have you? Maybe not since you left home. During which time you’ve handled gloves, keys, money, your handbag or wallet, door handles, lift buttons, grab handles on the bus, the push button at a pedestrian crossing, and loads of others.
All things we know and use every day. But when you think about it, never get cleaned or wiped from one year to the next. Not unless some accident happens, like salad dressing from your sandwich squidges all over them.
Clean hands are a start – way fewer germs. Except they stop being clean as soon as you touch something. Because what are the chances the thing you touch isn’t covered in germs too?
Blowing off the dust won’t crack it. Neither will a once-over with a damp rag. An antibacterial will do better – except you still can’t get all the nooks and crannies. Specially in that tangle of wires at the back of your computer.
Bad bugs, waiting for you
Hardly surprising. The average desk for instance, has 10 million germs on it. Gets a wipe-down every night when the swamp-out team do the place. Which basically transfers all the germs from the next desk to yours and around the whole office.
Nary a deep clean, except maybe once a year. Which also tends to be a wipe-down, only this time with bleach. Not too strong though, because of the smell. And not for too long either, that stuff eats plastic and corrodes metal. So actual contact time to kill germs is pretty minimal.
And you want to each your lunch there?
Helps to explain how it is that each of us has something wrong with us every few days or so. An infected cut, headache, acid reflux or simply feeling lousy. Around every three days, according to research.
And we still expect ourselves to be 100% on-the-ball, alert and fully focused? Who are we kidding that our work is up to scratch feeling like that? Like it or not, we’re making mistakes, missing detail and taking way longer than we should to do stuff.
Unwell at work, stress, not a good lunch
That’s a lot of time, money and anguish down the drain, from trying to be a hero at our desks. 57.5 days a year, we struggle like that. Unwell at work almost three working months.
Work in an open plan office and those numbers just multiply. More people with more germs – spread around by sharing the same space, touching the same things and the ever-helpful air con stirring the atmosphere.
Bring back dog-box offices, take your lap-top to the coffee shop – or better still, work from home!
On top of which is the stress of knowing we should stay home, we’re contagious – but not wanting to call in sick. Worried about job security or being labelled a wimp. Colleagues blaming us for leaving them in a lurch. Being left out of the loop. Or accused of skiving off.
All from germs on your desk – and multiplied several times over by eating lunch there.
OK, so you go out for lunch. You were trying to save money, but at least you’ll avoid the germs.
Until you come back.
Because the germs don’t just come from food. They’re on everything and everywhere, held in check only by our body’s immune system.
Well, yes – because when DO you wash your hands?
Galloping through the day, such basic hygiene isn’t even on our radar. More like “logiene”, because:
- 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- 95% of people don’t even wash their hands properly.
- Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating.
Can’t win, can we?
Go out to avoid germs, wash our hands – we catch them anyway.
Unless the place is treated so there aren’t any – by an effective health protection system. Rendered germ-free, so we arrive in the morning and it’s sterilised. No germs to catch, nothing contagious – we’re safe.
Zero germs, zero illness
Yeah, sure – we bring in germs from outside, on our skin and our clothing, we can’t avoid that.
Meanwhile the germ threshold is zero, we’re less likely to come down with anything.
Our colleagues too. Three working months per person snatched from the jaws of lost productivity. Fewer mistakes, better concentration, less stress, jobs finished on time – no need to work late.
You wouldn’t have to ban lunch at your desk either – though the crumbs and stuff will still happen.
How you handle that is your problem. Wipes and hand gel would be good.
No worries if you forget though.
The health protection system’s got your back – and you can get away with it.
About this blog
Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi. Achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. The only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.