I've always been impressed by modern offices. All those skilled workers with their suits and ties and smart skirts. And I've always thought that one of the perks of working in such places is that everything is so clean. But according to a recent scientific study, if you're a white collar office worker, you should think about asking for sick leave or even start working from home. Because your workplace is crawling with germs.
A team from the University of Arizona discovered that the average office desktop has 400times more bacteria than the average office toilet seat! And surprisingly, women's workstations are home to far more germs than those of their male colleagues. On average, female employees have three to four times the amount of germs in their work area.
One reason why women's desks have more bacteria is that women spend more time with small children and so are more likely to catch their germs. Another problem is that women use make-up and lotions, which help to transfer bacteria. And many women, especially if they have to work long hours, like to have a little something to eat while they are on duty. So they tend to keep snacks in their desk drawers: an ideal place for bacteria to grow. Professor Charles Gerba found that seventy-five per cent of female employees kept food in their work area. I was really surprised how much food there was in a woman's desk. If there's ever a famine, that's the first place I'll look.
However, before all you poor male workers run to your boss to complain your working conditions, and to threaten to go on strike unless you get a bonus for working with all those disty women, you should know one thing: men;s wallets are the most fertile breeding grounds of all for all those nasrty little office bugs. Professor Gerba: 'Your wallet is in your back pocket where it's nice and warm, it's a great incubator for bacteria.
But don't hand in your resignation and apply for a job on a pig farm or at the municipal dump just yet. Before informing your employer that you're leaving for a more hygienic occupation, you should find out if anyone has done a similar study for blue collar workers involved in manual labour. It coul be even dirtier on the pig farm.