Spring cleaning is not just for closets and garages, it’s for offices too. What better way to start than with degerming computers, keyboards, mouses, cell phones, earbuds and other gadgets. While you’re at it, follow these steps to improve overall operations at work.
Filthy Phones & Other Tech
The University of Arizona found in a study that 27 percent of office keyboards and more than half of computer mouses are contaminated with mold, yeast and bacteria. Other studies found mold on keyboards in 68 percent of homes. People often eat over their computers so that explains where the crud is coming from. But it get’s even worse. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found fecal matter on 1 out of every 6 smartphones in a 2011 study. The UA study concurs, stating that a typical worker’s desk has hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat. The findings were also reported in the Wall Street Journal. Considering our cell phones hang out on our desks all day, maybe we should give it a good cleaning more often than just when it’s sticky.
Just How Dirty Are We?
Office life can be a challenge to even the most healthy workers. Another study in 2018 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found 96% of computer keyboards sampled were contaminated with microorganisms such as E. coli. It’s even more infected if you’re not the only one using it. Doorknobs are another germ haven as well as the handle on the office refrigerator.
Deep Cleaning Without Damage
Cell Phone Spring Cleaning
Clean your cell phone immediately if it comes in contact with dirt, sand, makeup, detergent, soap, acidic foods and lotions.
- Turn off and unplug any cable
- Grab a microfiber cloth that’s slightly damp and wipe down the entire phone
- Repeat daily if you can
- Avoid using cleaning products – According to Apple, the iPhone has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic—oil repellent—coating. On iPhone 8 and later, the coating is on the front and back. This coating wears over time with normal use. Cleaning products and abrasive materials will further diminish the coating and might scratch your iPhone.
- Turn off, unplug and remove the battery first and foremost
- Turn it upside down and gently shake our crumbs and other particles
- Use a compressed air duster and give it a blast
- Use a microfiber cloth, slightly damp, and go over the surface and casing.
Peripheral Devices: Keyboards, mouse: follow the same steps as above
Smart Home Tech: Flatscreen TV, smart home speaker, game console, headphones, earbuds and smart watches – all should get the same treatment as your cell phone as often as your hands are touching them.
More Office Spring Cleaning Tips
Spring is a great time to get your office tech clean as well as in good working order by following these steps. ClickAway can performs these services on site for you if there are too many computers to worry about or you have multiple offices.
- Check for software updates
- Check Hardware for space and performance issues. Is it time for an upgrade?
- Strengthen security
- Consider new apps and services. Spring may be a good time to consider team planning software such as CrossLead’s Task Management. Tom’s Guide recently featured its list of favorite productivity apps. On the top is Any.Do. It keeps you on schedule with to-to lists, reminders, notes and the ability to share with others. It syncs between phone, desktop, web and tablet.
- Organize digital files. These days, everyone has millions of digital files stored across multiple devices. Use this time to get them organized such as deleting duplicate, temporary files and unused applications. This blog has a good summary of what to look for.