Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can shedworking damage your health?

We all know that traditional offices are unhealthy in many ways, but new research funded by household cleaning specialists The Clorox Company suggests home office surfaces are literally cluttered with millions of potentially illness-inducing bacteria. Folk in white coats led by the University of Arizona’s Dr. Charles Gerba compared bacteria levels on common office surfaces in both home office and traditional office environments and apparently the homeworkers' surfaces came off second best - four times as many bacteria were found on home desktops compared to traditional desktops.

“Surprisingly high germ levels in home offices may be due to the fact that people think their homes are already clean, or that the germs in their home offices are just their own and therefore harmless,” Gerba said. “But, regardless of whose they are, there’s a chance the germs can make you sick.”Gerba recommends frequent handwashing and, no surprises here, using disinfecting wipes daily on hard, nonporous surfaces in your cubicle or office to kill germs. Make yourself feel less at risk by reading some of Clorox's other research on unhealthy traditional offices here where he suggests women have more bacteria-ridden desks than men (which I find very hard to believe).


  1. I've just started to use Microban products. You can see their full range from this link:
    http://www.keytools.co.uk/keyboards/microban_default.asp. Their mouse mats are great. Very lightweight, but do tend to wear out fast. I've not tested their keyboards, but they do appear to give you come bacterial protection.

  2. I have to admit that while my garden office isn't actually unhygienic, it's not often that I give it a really good clean. One of the nastiest things I've ever seen is the cleaning of an entire newsroom's keyboards en masse. What gets inside is truly revolting...

  3. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Alex, do you know where I can get hold of that keyboard cleaner you've got on the photo? I use a paper clip rolled in sellotape but that looks _so_ much more sophisticated.

  4. There's a brief article about USB toys in the latest issue of The Shed - try http://usbnow.co.uk/