Look around your work station right now. How clean is it? Are there a couple of crumbs from your most recent snack on your desk? Is the floor a little dirtier than it should be? When was the last time you wiped down your work station with clean wipes? We may not think of cleaning up our work stations as a high priority task when we have so much else to do, but cleanliness in the workplace isn’t just about appearances; it’s an important part of maintaining overall staff wellness.
Part Work Desk, Part Dining Table
According to the American Dietetic Association, a huge number of Americans eat at their desks at some point during the day. As determined by their research:
- 62% of American workers eat lunch at their desks
- 50% eat one or more snacks at their desks
- 27% eat breakfast at their desks1
While there’s nothing wrong with eating at your desk, in theory, the unfortunate fact is that many work stations are secret breeding grounds for many kinds of bacteria. In fact, past research has shown that your keyboard and mouse are likely to be home to unpleasant microbes, such as e coli and staph, and likely have more germs on them than a toilet seat!2
If the thought of eating on a surface dirtier than your toilet doesn’t sound very appetizing to you, then you understand the importance of keeping your work station clean. Even if you don’t eat at your desk, unclean work stations lead to more germs circulating around the office, increasing your likelihood of getting sick at work. In other words: Keeping your desk clean is good for your health.