How Dirty is Your Office Desk?

If you are sitting at your office desk right now, you might want to grab some hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes before you read this. The average workplace desk can be 400x filthier than the average toilet seat! We hope you are not eating at your desk right now; you might have lost your appetite.

Work environments are breeding grounds for germs. Your keyboard, for example, is home to approximately 16 million microbes. Some of these unfriendly “coworkers” that you share a desk with are often the cause of sickness. Take a look at the information we found from the Cleaning Services Group that outlines the reality of germs in the office.


  • Only 3% of offices sufficiently clean their equipment
  • Keyboards contain 70 percent more bacteria than a toilet seat
  • The typical office worker’s hands come in contact with 10 million bacteria per day
  • 26% of us have fecal bacteria on our hands
  • One person carrying a virus will infect 50% of all equipment and employees in their vicinity in just four hours
  • Crumbs are a common source of bacteria
  • 80% of infections spread via contact with contaminated surfaces not coughing and sneezing
  • What is the dirtiest surface in your office? The break room sink-faucet

Though this information is alarming, there is hope. First off, we can not overstate the importance of keeping your working space tidy and clean. Here are some other tips for combating colds at the office:

  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you get to work or anytime that you leave the office
  • Washing your hands after using the toilet can reduce contamination by 10%
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean your desk at least once a day (your desk, computer, mouse, smartphone, etc.)
  • Use disinfectant wipes to sanitize high-touch areas in a break room, or use paper towels to touch them
  • Keep hand sanitizer in the break room to reinforce healthy hand hygiene behaviours
  • Avoid using other people’s phones
  • If you can avoid it, don’t eat at your desk
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • An organized and tidy desk also reduces the stress that comes from piles of papers, documents, and random items on their desk
  • A clean and well-organized workspace not only reduces the risk of getting sick but also improves your productivity.

If you go through this checklist, you’ll feel energized, inspired and your productivity levels will rise.


2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada and the US.  Having recently introduced WEBscribe, a client interface portal for document management, 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers.  As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest. Additional articles may be found at

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