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Our hygiene habits at work are extremely important to our health and the health of those around us, yet many office workers are unaware of how easily they can transmit potentially harmful germs from the washroom throughout the office.
Researchers using tracer viruses from the American Society of Microbiology found that contamination of just a single doorknob or table top can result in the spread of viruses throughout the office building. Within two to four hours, the virus was detectable on 40% to 60% of workers, visitors and commonly touched objects.
Good hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to help minimise the spread of germs in the office. In a recent study, 50% of workers admitted having left the washroom without washing their hands due to poor washroom facilities. Providing a good washroom experience can have a direct impact on hygiene behaviours.
Germs can spread easily through the air when toilets are flushed without the lid closed. Within 60 seconds of a toilet being flushed the average sized washroom can be covered with bacteria, urine and fecal matter. Managing the germs, scale and bacteria build up within the toilet can help reduce the risk of germs spreading.
A recent study by Intial found that 32% of office workers sometimes or always hot desk and 49% eat at their desks. The potential for cross-contamination is high as germs from the washroom are spread by contaminated hands and transferred to desks, office equipment and food.