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AF International Survey Reveals 67.6% of Office Workers Accept Catching Bugs From Co-Workers

Posted on 04 May 2012 |

A recent poll on 1000 office workers by computer and office equipment cleaning experts, AF International, has revealed that a massive 67.6% of surveyed employees accept that they are likely to catch germs and viruses spreading around the office. The large percentage came as a surprise to cleaning specialists at AF International, who develop preventative cleaning measures for people who work with business technologies such as laptops, web-books, headsets, PCs and smartphones. Regular cleaning not only clears dirt and grime, but also provides anti-bacterial protection, if the right product is used.

Karen Harrison, from AF International commented, "The statistic was very unexpected. 67.6% is a large proportion of the survey. We would assume getting food poisoning after cooking in a germ-infested kitchen so preventative cleaning measures are taken to ensure the kitchen is a hygienic space. The same measures apply to office equipment where keyboards, as an example, develop 60 times more bacteria than the average toilet. This is a horrifying fact but the good news is that there are simple, precautionary cleaning measures that can be used to reduce the risk of germs and viruses spreading around the office via equipment and these should be used as part of a regular cleaning programme, in the same way we keep kitchen surfaces and lavatories clean and sanitised. It not only reduces the risk of the spread of germs and viruses but it also helps to prolong the life of equipment."

The importance of workplace cleaning is now higher on the hygiene agenda than ever before, particularly now that people spend more time working and eating at their office workstations, but do they know if and when regular cleaning takes place?

Many companies have contracts with local cleaning companies, who tend to vary in the tasks they do depending on the size and type of the company. They also vary in the amount of times they visit. AF International's survey reveals that 45.8% of businesses are cleaned on a daily basis, generally after the working day, whilst 23.6% were cleaned weekly. More surprisingly, 15.8% of the survey's office quarters are only cleaned once per month, with 14.8% of the employees either not knowing if they had a cleaner in the office or thought the office was simply never cleaned.

A large number of general contract cleaning companies are unable to clean valuable equipment such as computers and printers but out of the companies polled, 36.6% had external cleaners specifically contracted to clean all their office technology equipment, 29.8% relied on the user of the equipment to keep it clean and 20.5% had a person internally who had the responsibility of making sure equipment was kept in clean working order.

An encouraging 45.2% of employees are concerned about the risk of catching germs.