The 8 Most Common Germs in the Office

You might not want to dwell on the hidden dangers lurking in the office, but just because something is unseen doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Therefore, if staff keep succumbing to that virus endlessly doing the rounds, maybe now is the time to review your office cleaning practices. 

To give you an insight, we discuss the most common types of germs bacteria found in offices, what they mean for our health and what we can do to keep those beastly bugs at bay. 

Common Office Germs

Staphylococcus aureus

This highly contagious germ, also known as staph, causes infections and can often be found on keyboards and other surfaces, especially when hotdesking.


Lying unseen on surfaces, actinobacteria is the most common bacteria found in offices and easily spreads between people. It can be particularly unpleasant for those with lowered immune systems. 


We usually associate E-Coli with undercooked food, however, you ought to be aware that the germ can commonly be found in office settings too. Shared equipment such as scanners, phones or laptops can carry traces, which can cause serious health complications

Heliobacter pylori

The presence of this particular germ indicates that staff need to take care washing up shared cutlery and kitchen utensils, as it can cause gastrointestinal infections that leave people debilitated. 


Whilst not technically classed as a germ, norovirus is notorious for its ability to spread in self-contained spaces like offices. Often causing short-term but extreme bouts of sickness and diarrhoea, this unpleasant illness can be prevented by regular cleaning and keeping unwell people at home. 


The most prevalent cause of the common cold, Rhinovirus can be spread by inhaling droplets from infected persons or touching contaminated surfaces. 


Whilst many people can push through with a cold, influenza is generally more debilitating and can leave many feeling very unwell if infected. 


Associated with raw and undercooked meat, salmonella affects the intestinal tract and can spread in the workplace through shared utensils that are not thoroughly cleaned. 

How to Prevent Infections Spreading Around the Workplace?

Whilst it is not possible to eliminate germs and prevent illnesses altogether, regular cleaning is a surefire way to reduce the risk of infection spreading around your office. The nature of shared spaces creates a breeding ground for germs that linger on surfaces long after everyone has gone home – this is why implementing a regular cleaning schedule is essential to minimise the risk. 

Attention should be paid to keyboards, shared phones, desks, railings and door handles. Likewise, shared communal spaces, like kitchens and bathrooms where germs easily spread need to be kept highly hygienic. 

As well as practical steps, be sure to provide items such as antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser and tissues for staff. You can also provide signposting to remind of the importance of washing hands and encourage anyone too unwell to stay at home during the most contagious stage of a cold or other virus. 

Most Common Office Germs: Final Thoughts

We hope this article has given you an insight into the importance of office cleanliness. Remember, the team at Scott & Sons offers office cleaning services that can be tailored to your requirements, giving you peace of mind your place of work is both a clean, safe and pleasant environment to spend time in. Get in touch today to find out more.