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Office hygiene 'increasing employee illness risks'

Office hygiene 'increasing employee illness risks'

Office hygiene 'increasing employee illness risks'

Employees are often warned of the dangers to their health posed by poor practice in the workplace. Office workers are regularly urged to ensure they adopt the right posture and position their PCs at the right height to avoid back problems, and take regular exercise to keep their minds and bodies healthy.

But in some workplaces, it appears there may be hidden threats which are less frequently considered by employers and their staff.

According to Kimberly-Clark Professional, office desks are putting workers at risk of serious illness because they are crawling with germs. Workplace kitchens and break rooms are also said to pose dangers to employees unless they are regularly cleaned from top to bottom.

Other frequent 'offenders' include microwave door handles and sinks where staff clean their plates and cutlery, the study revealed. Hygienists collected nearly 5,000 swabs from buildings including law firms, insurance offices, call centres and healthcare companies.

They found that office workers are unwittingly spreading bugs around the workplace on a daily basis, increasing the risks of employees falling ill.

Whilst realising that it is almost impossible for companies and organisations to entirely eliminate risk, improved hygiene across the office can certainly reduce the risk of colds, flu and stomach illness crippling employees.

Cleaning the office regularly can help cut illness by up to 80 per cent. And with business leaders eager to maximise productivity, this can make a real difference.

Employee absence adds to business costs, since employees contribute nothing to overall productivity if they are tucked up in bed ill at home.

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image by Thinkstock