Image of Messy Shared Workspace

Hot-desking workplaces may be less hygienic than those with fixed desks, according to a new study from Tork.


The germ count in offices where desks are shared was found to be 18 per cent higher than in environments where each employee was assigned a fixed desk. And this means hot-desking could increase the risk of employees contracting infections such as colds, flu and the norovirus at their workplace.
The swabbing study was conducted in an office where more than 100 members of staff occupied a fixed-desk environment. The same employees then switched to a hot-desking model and the study was repeated.
Scientists used an ATP bioluminescence reader to measure the microbiological concentration on keyboards, computer mice and other items at 40 workstations. Shared mice in the hot-desking environment were found to have a 41 per cent higher microbiological reading than the computer mice in the fixed-desk situation.
Average readings of fixed-desk surfaces were found to be 32 per cent lower than the desk surfaces in hot-desking offices. And overall the germ readings in hot-desking offices were 18 per cent higher.
The results were attributed to cross-contamination issues when equipment is shared plus the practice of lunching “al-desko” at communal desks.
System Hygiene and Tork are working together to help organisations improve their business through better hygiene and cleaning. Please speak with your Sysytem Hygiene representative to review your working environment and understand how to tackle new cleaning challenges that arise from practices such as hot-desking, shared equipment and the increasing use of screens. 
Please call us on 01282 777999 to speak in confidence with a System Hygiene representative or e-mail us on [email protected] 
In the meantime, you can view a selected range of best-selling Tork products on the System Hygiene website, including hand towel dispensers, toilet roll dispeners and soaps. We also stock refills and can supply the entire range of Tork products. Please ask us for details and the latest prices.