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Experts reveal the most hygienic work surfaces for post COVID offices

Editors Note: The followijng content has been provided by Catherine Moss, the Marketing Manager of buildijng material firm, Geaves Surface Solutions.Geaves have over 25 years experience of supplying the Retail, Kitchen and Furniture manufacturing industries with an exclusive range of products and solutions, including High Pressure Laminates, Decorative Boards and more…

With most offices returning to use after the impact of the pandemic, it’s important for businesses to be aware of how to stay safe and hygienic in the workplace. 

Considering the health and safety precautions associated with the return to working in the office, businesses are being encouraged to choose the most hygienic work surfaces possible to reduce contamination and transmission. 

That’s why experts at Geaves have put together a guide to help you and your employees stay protected in the return to normalcy.

 

Why Do Work Surfaces Have So Much Bacteria?

Work surfaces are constantly being touched by employees, as well as spaces in meeting rooms, shared desks and communal printers, kitchens and phones. Bacteria that gather on these surfaces quickly add up. 

According to research, there are usually ten million different types of bacteria on the average work surface at any one time. 

 

How Will Hygienic Work Surfaces Benefit Your Business?

By choosing a work surface that retains fewer bacteria and is easier to clean, you will be contributing to the overall health of your employees, and creating a healthy and functioning COVID-safe environment.

Each office worker and business employee working in these environments takes an average of four and a half sick days a year, as of the last study conducted in 2019. 

These numbers are only liable to increase with COVID-19, which is why offices should take as many precautions as they can. 
 

The Hygiene Levels Of Commonly Used Office Surfaces 

Wood

Depending on the type of wood, this can be a relatively safe work surface. As long as the wood is not unsealed, and is protected by a good quality sealant, these surfaces are suitable for office furniture and work surfaces. 

Glass 

This is a great hygienic option for a work surface, with it being a wipe-clean surface and super smooth upon manufacturing, ensuring that no bacteria or germs can get stuck in microscopic gaps. 

This makes glass an optimal choice for desks and meeting rooms, as they can be cleaned very efficiently and effectively.

Laminates 

Laminate is similar to glass in the way that it can be easily cleaned, with one wipe, but is not made to the same quality and standard that glass is. For this reason, the laminate material is a good alternative.

Sheet Steel

Steel is the most expensive, yet the most hygienic material available for use in the office. With its natural antibacterial properties, sheet steel is the safest material to use for work surfaces and the easiest to clean.
 

Which Materials Should You Use In Your Office For The Best Hygiene?

Ideally, either glass or steel are the best materials to use in your office for hygiene. Other cheaper materials will also keep employees safe, but may not be as easy to clean.

 

Other Ways To Keep Your Office Safe And Hygienic

You can always encourage your employees to use hand sanitising stations in the office, throw away any one-use items and wear a mask and gloves when in communal areas.

 

FAQs

What is the most hygienic work surface? 

The most hygienic work surface is arguably sheet steel, as it is naturally antibacterial and provides no gaps for bacteria or germs to get stuck in. It can be cleaned with one wipe, and does not need sealing. 

Is glass a good material for desks?

Glass is a good material for desks from a hygienic standpoint but may not be the most efficient. 
As it can show up with a lot of fingerprints and dust, it may not be the easiest material to maintain. 

Which work surface material holds the most bacteria?

Laminates and wood are the two surface materials that are reported as holding the most bacteria when used in offices. 

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