Air-conditioners, office kitchens and ablution facilities: these, you may believe, house the common winter viruses that spread throughout the office, causing the absenteeism that negatively impacts business. What’s often overlooked though, is that personal computers are germ havens, likely harbouring more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Getting your staff to clean their mice, monitors and keyboards can save your business a lot of money. In fact, South Africa could save some of the R16-billion it loses annually due to work absenteeism. This is according to Occupational Care South Africa and Statistics SA, as quoted in the Mail and Guardian.

A computer cleaning policy should form a key part of office cleaning. Here’s what it should entail:

Stringent hand washing

Make it clear to your employees that everything they touch (lift buttons, escalators, toilet door handles, canteen table tops) is full of bacteria and then transferred onto computer keyboards and mice. Have a hand washing policy in place before computers are even switched on for the day. To encourage frequent hand washing (and not just first thing in the morning), colourful posters can be dotted around the office. Download one of the many “hand washing posters” found on the Internet –  these are free and in high resolution.

Have a how-to guide for computer cleaning

Cleaning a computer can lead to damaging it, therefore a how-to guide should be pinned to each workstation so that staff are aware of how to clean their computers. This colourful guide, in plain sight, will encourage employees to clean their computers more often. (Be sure to indicate where the computer cleaning materials can be found in the office.)

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The Cleaning Institute advises the following be kept in mind when cleaning computers:

  • Make sure the computer is off before you clean any part of it – keyboard, monitor screen, mouse, printer or housings.
  • Never spray cleaner directly onto any part of the computer. Spray it onto a cloth, and then gently wipe.
  • Clean the keyboard with a cleaning wipe or a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner. This should be the first thing done every morning. To remove the dirt, dust and other debris that gets caught between the keys, turn the keyboard upside down and shake it gently to dislodge the particles.
  • Clean the mouse with a cleaning wipe or cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner.
  • The monitor should be cleaned with a microfibre cloth, either dry or slightly dampened. Cleaning the monitor is very important for the health of your eyes. A product can also be specifically formulated for computer screens, obtainable from professional cleaning companies.
  • The mouse can be cleaned with a cleaning wipe or a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.
  • Surrounding surfaces (including computer housings and desktops) should be cleaned with a disinfectant. There are likely food and coffee stains amid the dust and grime.

In order to guarantee that your office regularly undergoes computer cleaning, make use of a professional cleaning company.

Computers are expensive, and cleaning them is complex. It is hard to monitor if employees are cleaning their computers by the book and according to the guidelines you have set out. This can compromise hygiene, promote illness and lose the company money. Call in a professional cleaning service to clean your office computers. Professionals work after hours so as to not disrupt work time. They also have exactly the right products and gear, saving the office manager from expending on materials (and time in getting those materials).


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Image credit – Tyn Brazil