With cold and flu season upon us, business owners need to be extra vigilant about office cleanliness. Computer keyboards, as well mice, touchpads and other input devices commonly found in an office, are notorious for harboring germs that could make employees sick.
One of the best ways to avoid the spread of germs around your office is to routinely clean computer keyboards. Keyboards become a real risk for cross-contamination and infection when shared by employees. Employees who eat at their desk or fail to wash their hands after using the restroom compound the risk. When food particles fall between the keyboard’s keys, bacteria begin to grow within hours. Even the dangerous MRSA bacteria can live for six weeks in a keyboard’s nooks and crannies. An IT worker, who may visit many desks during the workday, can spread germs throughout the entire office in just a short time.
Following a few, simple guidelines can help keep your keyboard and other office devices cleaner and your employees healthier throughout the year.
How to Clean Computer Keyboards and Input Devices
Before cleaning any electronic device, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Begin by shutting down the computer and unplugging the keyboard. Holding it over a trash can, gently shake the keyboard to dislodge crumbs. Canned air will help you reach small, hard-to-remove particles.
With an antibacterial cloth, wipe all of the keyboard’s surfaces, especially between keys. Some keyboards have removable keys allowing for a more thorough cleaning.
You can clean a mouse the same way, but be careful not to damage the optical sensor on the bottom. Touchpads are a little easier to attack. Clean the touchpad surface using a soft cloth dampened with distilled water or equal parts of water and alcohol. Finish cleaning the device with a disinfecting wipe.
Reducing Infection Risk in Your Office or Facility
The same studies that highlight keyboard contaminant risks also document the usefulness of proactive, infection-control programs. Employees who started using disinfecting wipes on their desktops, phones and computers daily reduced the bacteria on their devices by 99.9 percent within days.
To encourage this behavior, provide antibacterial wipes for workstation cleanup and adopt an office-wide, daily desk wipe-down policy. Add hand-sanitizing stations in common work areas and hand-hygiene posters in restrooms and break rooms. In addition, discourage employees from eating at their desks, not just for the sake of hygiene, but also because these breaks could improve productivity and job satisfaction.
Town & Country Office Cleaning has more helpful advice on keeping your workplace healthy. Keep your staff healthy and reduce costly absenteeism. Contact us at one of our Utah or Arizona locations for more information.