According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 34 million working days were lost in the UK in 2016 due to minor illnesses such as coughs and colds. It is well documented that the working environment (particularly open plan office space) can present optimum conditions for the spread of illness caused by microbes; hot desking, shared facilities, common contact surfaces, circulated air and extended interactions at close proximity are all contributing factors. It is when one person’s unique microbiome interacts with another’s directly – through person to person contact, or indirectly through contact with shared surfaces or products – that cross contamination can occur. This presents ideal circumstances for illness causing and sometimes antibiotic resistant microbes to pass from employee to employee.
With these factors in mind, it is apparent how the modern office can pose a costly challenge when trying to maintain a healthy and productive workforce – that’s why BioCote® decided to conduct a study in an small, open plan office to see if this issue could be addressed.
Our aim was to demonstrate the role silver-based antimicrobial technology can play in reducing the number of contaminating microbes on products and surfaces. To successfully execute this, we compared natural bacterial populations on BioCote® protected products with those found on standard non-antimicrobial products within the same office environment. The BioCote® protected products used were: adjustable height desks, chairs, computer peripherals (mouse & keyboard) whiteboard and accessories (pens, erasers), a point of use water dispenser and wall mounted liquid hand soap dispensers – all of which were donated by our wonderful partners.
The results of the study are impressive – in short, the presence of antimicrobial products led to a massive 93% reduction in bacteria. Whilst BioCote® will never discount the importance of a comprehensive cleaning regime and the maintenance of proper hand hygiene, we think this figure constitutes a compelling argument for antimicrobial products to be introduced into office spaces on a larger scale. Unlike antibacterial sprays that have a limited and residual effect, BioCote® works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to protect a product from an array of harmful microbes, ultimately helping to create a more healthy, hygienic and productive office environment.
To view the full study, please click here. Alternatively, you can use our interactive visual to see just how well BioCote® protected products performed when addressing the issue of microbes in an office environment.