The Dirty Truth Behind Office Hygiene

Despite many of us adopting the work-from-home lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have now returned to the office either fully or partially, with over half of the UK workforce back in the office.

This means more contact with others, therefore increased contact with bacteria and germs, picked up from direct person-to-person contact (e.g. handshakes), or surface contact (e.g. handrails and keyboards).

Office hygiene is dependent on the cleanliness of the office, as well as each person. Maintaining and monitoring the hygiene habits of co-workers is near-impossible, making office cleaning even more paramount in importance. Regular sanitation of communal areas makes it harder for harmful bacteria to spread, which can prevent illnesses and subsequent staff absences.

Commercial cleaning companies like Vanguard are a particularly good way to maintain office hygiene, with their specialist knowledge and training to target areas where bacteria and viruses spread. This means a more hygienic, happy, and healthier workforce in the office, so your business can work at its best.


7 Statistics That Reveal The Dirty Truth Of Office Hygiene


1. The Average Office Desk Contains 400x More Germs Than A Toilet Seat

As the primary workstation for office workers, desks are one of the most frequently touched surfaces in any office. Although we may associate germs and bacteria with toilet environments, the fact that desks host a significantly higher amount of germs emphasises the need to keep these spaces sanitised. In a previous article, we looked at why wiping surfaces such as desks is a crucial element of a regular cleaning checklist, emphasising the importance of cleanliness in offices.

Ensuring office hygiene can be difficult, especially in enforcing personal habits such as correct handwashing and cleaning individual workspaces. This is why hiring a commercial cleaning company is an effective and efficient way to ensure a clean office, minimising the buildup of germs and health risks that may present as a result.

With regular professional cleaning, you can help mitigate the buildup of germs, creating a cleaner and healthier space for anyone entering the office space. A simple cleaning task like this can easily be neglected, but with Vanguard’s office cleaning solutions, you can rest at ease, knowing that our staff conduct nothing but the best cleaning standards every time.


2. 80% Of Infections Spread Through Contaminated Surfaces

The fact that 80% of infections spread through contaminated surfaces carries significant implications for office spaces and workplace hygiene, especially when it comes to shared kitchen surfaces and desks.

Communal areas are an important element of any office, and The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that employees must have a clean area away from their workspace to eat. As a result, most UK offices have some kind of kitchen area to facilitate this.

Kitchens aren’t the only office areas that require regular cleaning. In busy offices, it isn’t uncommon for employees to share desks, computers, and other equipment such as stationery. This means that the risk of infections being spread from surface to surface is significant, and wiping surfaces is therefore essential to maintain and manage this risk. Some ‘high touch’ surfaces include:

  • Keyboards
  • Telephones
  • Handrails
  • Door handles

All of these are frequently used, and if contaminated can spread significant amounts of bacteria to a range of other surfaces. This can result in many employees becoming unwell with coughs and colds. In 2022, 185.6 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK.

Research indicates that cleaning using soap and detergent alone can remove over 90% of bacteria from surfaces, an effective method to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. Commercial cleaning companies like Vanguard are specially trained to use the appropriate products to conduct a rigorous clean, creating a healthier, safer workspace.

With Vanguard, you can create a site-specific cleaning schedule to suit your business. Our janitorial services work with you and your requirements, utilising the correct industry-leading cleaning products to provide a comprehensive professional cleaning service. This means you can focus on running your business, assured that Vanguard’s cleaning solutions are working to keep you and your office safe and sanitised.


3. Microbes For Common Colds Can Survive Up To 50 Hours

The spread of common coughs and colds is all too common in the office, working in proximity and sharing resources. Microbes which cause these colds can survive for long periods, meaning a longer time for them to be picked up and transferred to other surfaces around the office.

This fact is particularly concerning when we consider the common cold to be a minor illness. Moreover, 50 hours is one of the shortest survival times for a microbe. Influenza microbes can live for 60 hours, whilst incredibly harmful bacteria such as Hepatitis live up to 160 hours. Other dangerous bacteria such as E.coli can survive for almost 1.5 years.

The ability of microbes to survive for such an extended period means that proactive cleaning measures are essential to keeping a safe office space. In addition to good hand hygiene practices, the best way to protect your office from these outbreaks is with regular professional cleaning.

With our 22-year history, Vanguard has a depth of knowledge to draw on to provide the most efficient cleaning with the best products and techniques.


4.  Only 3% of offices sufficiently clean their equipment.

This statistic highlights not only the need to clean regularly but also why commercial cleaning provides more effective cleaning. Vanguard’s rigorous training procedures ensure that your office receives an effective clean each time, so your workspace is left pristine.

As highlighted throughout this article, unclean equipment can act as a source to harbour and spread a range of harmful bacteria. In addition, visibly unclean equipment can decline morale and efficiency in the office, so your business is unable to work at its best.

Furthermore, Vanguard has the correct equipment that is kept in sanitary condition, so that you can be sure your surfaces are cleansed and safe from recontamination. Whilst keeping cleaning in-house may appear to cut costs, professional cleaning with Vanguard means your cleaning procedure is not only conducted with the best techniques but that professional-grade equipment is used.

This saves you from maintaining your cleaning equipment and reduces the risk of contaminating your surfaces, worsening the spread of bacteria!


5. On average, you encounter 300 surfaces every 30 minutes.

Offices are fast-paced, dynamic environments, and this high figure is yet another stark reminder of why regular cleaning is essential to maintain bacteria and the rate at which it spreads around the office.

Vanguard’s commercial cleaning for offices ensures that these basic cleaning tasks are always conducted to a quality standard, utilising industry-leading products to fully sanitise your surfaces.

Vanguard’s UK-wide office cleaning solutions include:

  • Sanitising desks, keyboards, and any other office equipment
  • Vacuuming and cleaning any hard flooring
  • Dusting and tidying
  • Emptying any bins or recycling points
  • Replenishing any consumables (e.g. soap)
  • Window and glass cleaning, including monitors

Proving cheaper than independent contractors, Vanguard’s comprehensive office cleaning solutions provide complete peace of mind that your office is sanitised, no matter how busy your schedule is.


6. Staff Sickness Costs The UK Economy As Much As £77.5 Billion Per Year

Using data from the 2017 Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, employees lose an average of 30.4 working days annually due to sickness. When an office operates below its full capacity, it can result in delays, putting undue strain on your business.

For the health and safety of your employees, as well as your business, minimising the need for sick days is essential. Even a common cold can result in underproductivity, so minimising the risk of illnesses spreading in the office is crucial to maximising office productivity and keeping your staff healthy.

This is where commercial cleaning companies such as Vanguard are an effective solution, able to reduce the number of sick days by stopping the spread of harmful bacteria. In contrast to standard cleaning practices, Vanguard’s comprehensive office cleaning procedures incorporate the best techniques and products. A content and healthy workforce is inherently more productive, enabling your business to function at its very best.


7. Only 61% of UK Office Workers Wash Their Hands After Going to The Toilet

This disturbing statistic highlights the need for commercial cleaning in offices, as a guaranteed way to maintain good office hygiene. A robust, site-specific cleaning schedule is vital to maintain safety. After all, workplace cleanliness is not just about looks but is a crucial element in protecting the health and wellbeing of all who spend time there.

Commercial cleaning with Vanguard keeps your office sanitary and our cleaning procedures help to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria. Our all-encompassing cleaning solutions can be customised to create site-specific cleaning schedules, so you can have your office expertly cleaned with Vanguard as frequently as you feel required.


Coming Clean With Vanguard

Office cleaning is made easy with Vanguard. Our UK-wide cleaning services are affordable and expertly executed every time.

Cleaning your office is important not only in maintaining a professional image but also in keeping your office healthy and fully staffed. With Vanguard, you’ll safeguard your employees against harmful viruses, receiving an outstanding service every time. With our cost-effective services and site-specific schedules, Vanguard always works with you in mind.

Whether it’s a regular cleaning service you’re after, or a deep clean, Vanguard has a range of quality services on offer. We even offer window cleaningprofessional floor cleaning and other specialist cleaning services to meet your needs. Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation quote!