How to Reduce Office Bacteria

pumping hand sanitizer in front of computer

Your offices are overflowing with bacterial growth, and as your colleagues move around the workplace, they’re transferring bacteria from one place to another. Often, the transmission results from poor hygiene, such as employees failing to properly wash their hands, but an equal problem is insufficient cleaning and your workplace hosting various communal touchpoints — leading to bacterial hot spots developing over time.

Excessive bacterial contamination can result in dangerous work environments with higher sickness rates and a rapid spread of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that infections can happen when an unclean area has high traffic and is poorly ventilated, meaning that your workspace is a breeding ground for bad germs and bacteria. Illnesses and viruses can spread from a single door handle or water dispenser lever to your entire place of work in very little time. It’s imperative you take the necessary actions to maintain a clean environment.

Let’s take a look at how bacteria forms in your workplace and how the right office amenities like a Quench bottleless water cooler can help decrease the risk of illnesses for your team.

The Biggest Culprits for Office Bacteria

It may sound dramatic, but nowhere is safe. Although there are germs everywhere, some areas are more susceptible to outbreaks of illnesses caused by bacteria than others. The break room is one of the best places for bacteria to grow because there are many communal touchpoints, a wet sink, and it’s used by most of your coworkers.

Your break room also most likely has a coffee pot that employees use. One study done by Hloom highlighted alarming findings on coffee pots, whose handles showed bacteria levels as much as 34 times higher than you’d find on a school toilet seat. Of the bacteria identified, the majority could be harmful to health as well as resistant to antibiotics, which are of concern given they were contaminating a drink station. In short, we could risk E. coli or Salmonella every time we pour a cup. Many Americans drink coffee every day, so think about how often employees pick up and put down the coffee pot, spreading office-borne bacteria from their hands onto the machine.

1. The Break Room

Your break room might also have a 5-gallon water jug or manual water dispenser that every person at your workplace uses. Having a hydrated team is important, but not when it puts their health and safety at risk. Like the previously mentioned coffee pot, the lever or button on your dispenser may be spreading numerous amounts of dangerous bacteria with every fill-up. The Hloom study also highlighted how a water dispenser handle had 20 times as much bacteria as levels found on a conference room doorknob. Given workers need to stay hydrated as well as healthy to be productive, offices must do better in keeping drinking stations clean.

Another negative that comes along with this style of water system is the uncleanliness of the gallon jug itself. If someone on your team does not regularly clean out this plastic container, then it’s also collecting germs that could get your employees sick.

2. Your Desk

The second hot spot is your desk. Whether sending emails, eating lunch, or conducting meetings, employees spend a lot of time seated, leading to less-than-hygienic workspaces. According to Commercial Cleaning Corp, an average desk has about 10 million bacteria. The phone and desk surfaces have been pinpointed as the dirtiest spots with the keyboard, mouse, and mug falling far short of cleanliness expectations.

If you fail to take an antibacterial wipe to your workspace, you could suffer from a build-up of Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, E-coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa — all of which could result in severe stomach pain, unpleasant skin infections, diarrhea, nausea, even severe vomiting.

To take action against dangerous germs and prevent people from getting sick, follow the next section’s cleaning and sanitation best practices.

Steps to Improve Hygiene in the Office

There are many ways to provide a cleaner work environment from a regular cleaning schedule to a comprehensive hygiene policy. Below are simple guidelines from the CDC to achieve a cleaner workspace:

  • Implement a hygiene policy to encourage employees to keep their hands clean.
  • Provide anti-bacterial wipes to reduce bacteria build-up on personal belongings and desk items.
  • Employ a cleaner to sanitize communal objects such as the coffee pot and door handles.
  • Keep sick staff at home as your team can become sick very quickly after being exposed to illness.
  • Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner.
  • Keep alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer around when soap and water are not available.
  • Don’t forget to clean and disinfect soft and porous materials or surfaces like carpets, rugs, and seating areas.
  • Reduce communal touchpoints by getting sensor-activated appliances or equipment.
  • Purchase a Quench water dispenser that will lower the risk of dangerous germs or high-touch handles.

We know that you value the health and safety of your workplace. That’s why Quench offers water systems that not only offer clean drinking water to your entire staff but also delicious and nutritious hydration that people can enjoy.

Minimizing Bacteria With Quench Technology

Many teams are blissfully unaware of how quickly bacteria can spread through the workplace, and often, it will take a group effort to get your environment clean and keep it that way. Show the office you care for their health by investing in proven technology to promote a hygienic workplace.

Quench Touchless Water Dispensers

Our advanced water technology allows you to breathe (and drink) easily knowing that you’re getting some of the highest-quality water around. On top of that, we offer water dispensers that lower your risk of infection by being motion activated. Our Quench Q4, Quench Q8, and Quench Q12 models all have touchless dispensing capabilities, meaning that your team will be able to get a drink of water without having to touch a button or lever — it’s completely hands-free!

Our Water Filtration Process

At Quench, we pride ourselves on our advanced water filtration technology and its ability to remove harmful levels of pollutants, including pesticides, nitrates, fluoride, and 99% of lead.  When you rent a bottleless water cooler from us, you receive clean, great-tasting, quality water all thanks to our 5-filter setup quenchWATER+ filtration system. Here’s a breakdown of what your water goes through before it’s dispensed into your glass to be enjoyed:

quenchWATER+ 5-Filter Setup filtration

  1. The sediment filter removes large contaminants and dissolved solids larger than 10 microns from the water.
  2. The pre-carbon filter uses activated carbon to remove anything larger than particles that are about the size of a spec of flour, while attracting and bonding with any positively charged ions in the water to prevent chemical compounds from getting into your drinking glass.
  3. Reverse osmosis filtration uses pressure to force water molecules through a semipermeable membrane that removes all contaminants from the water.
  4. The mineral+ filter adds essential electrolytes and minerals to the pure reverse osmosis water.
  5. A polishing filter uses carbon and fine coconut husk fibers to purify the water one last time before it’s dispensed into your glass.

After your water passes through these filters, it’s crisp, clean, and ready to drink!

Your water isn’t the only thing that needs to be cleaned. Even though our water coolers are safer and cleaner than many other water systems, they still need regular cleaning. Here are some steps to follow when cleaning your bottleless water cooler:

  • Step 1: Gather your needed cleaning supplies including a large container, non-abrasive disinfecting wipes, and a paper towel or cleaning rag.
  • Step 2: Flush your machine out.
  • Step 3: Wipe the entire surface of the machine, paying close attention to the dispensing area, paddles, and touch screen (if applicable).

It’s that simple! Unlike a bottled water cooler or 5-gallon jug that takes a lot longer to clean, Quench bottleless water dispensers feature built-in sanitization technologies like in-tank UV sanitization and antimicrobial surface technology, which provide continuous protection against a broad spectrum of potentially harmful microorganisms. Plus, when you rent from Quench, your monthly fee includes an annual or bi-annual service visit in which your service technician thoroughly cleans your machine for you. For extra precaution, it’s recommended that you clean your faucet or spigot regularly with a non-abrasive disinfectant wipe.

We’re Here to Help You 

Because we want to make hydrating your workplace as easy and stress-free as possible, we can take care of the installation process in your business and we’ll replace your model with an updated one should something happen to your existing system.

Our Quench experts are ready to help you level up your water supply to hydrate your workplace, lower potential infection, and keep your employees safe. Reach out to us today and receive a free quote.