- WARNING: Finish your meal / snack / coffee before reading this.
- Research shows that collaborative workspaces are happy breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria.
- You’ll find them hiding in your keyboard, on microwave buttons and even on the fridge handle.
Flexible workspaces are known for encouraging collaboration and random encounters among users. These spaces are typically buzzing, with people moving around from one area to another. Great as this may be, it also means that germs can move more freely around the space, traveling from hands, to desks, to shared areas, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, and then back again to the desk.
A study by Printerland found that the following bacteria are the most likely to be collecting and hanging around your workspace:
Heterotrophic bacteria are a type of bacteria that take the sugars they need to survive and reproduce from their environment (i.e. mould, yeast). These bacteria are not directly related to disease-causing bugs, but they can negatively impact the work environment.
Escherichia coli ( E. coli)
Escherichia coli are bacteria found in faecal matter. An E.Coli infection can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and a fever.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
H. pylori typically enters the body through the digestive tract and the germs attack the stomach lining and small intestine. H. pylori is the cause of 95% of stomach ulcers.
Commonly found in the sink and areas that commonly encounter water, this bacteria can cause eye and ear infections.
Staphylococcus aureus are a group of bacteria which can cause diseases ranging from boils and abscesses, to food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.
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Hot Spots for Bacteria in the Workplace
2. Microwave buttons and handle
3. Coffee makers
4. Refrigerator handle
5. Toilet seat