In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become more important than ever to maintain a hygienic work environment. The importance of sterilising high contact areas like door handles has been emphasised and this also applies to office equipment like desks, the computer mouse and especially the keyboard. With reports that bacteria and viruses can survive on non-porous surfaces like plastic for up to 72 hours the need to disinfect office equipment is more important than ever- especially if you are working in an environment where multiple people use the same equipment throughout the day.
If you’re not convinced, one study by researchers at the University of Arizona found that shockingly, the average desktop keyboard contained traces of bacteria, 400 times greater than that of a standard toilet seat. You can find out more about that same study, here.
How has COVID-19 changed the traditional office?
There is no clear precedent for what offices will look like after the pandemic is over. There are some who believe that both open plan spaces and crammed cubicles are a thing of the past with new emphasis being placed on technological and digital solutions that make social distancing and cleaning much easier. Some suggesting one-way systems and socially distanced desks that help employees feel safer. There is also more attention being given to the possibility of mobile or flexible working which may lead to more home offices.
With safety measures like infrared temperature checkers at the entrance to buildings as well as staggered arrivals and remote meetings, it is clear that there is already a shift in what it means to work safely in an office environment with a direct emphasis on employee safety when it comes to COVID-19 and any other diseases. It is clear that the old office equipment may not be suited to this “new world” and other solutions like the anti-bacterial and anti-virus glass keyboard.
Plastic keyboards in the modern office- what is the problem?
The traditional plastic keyboards that are found in offices across the country are not suitable for the type of sterilisation needed to effectively remove bacteria and viruses from the surface. The gaps between keys do not allow the kind of all over protection provided by a disinfectant spray or being washed in hot water. If you were to try, the keyboard itself would be damaged and would likely stop working. This is also a problem with the traditional computer mouse or trackpad. The numerous components of the traditional desktop computer- usually all made of plastic- are difficult to disinfect without damaging the hardware.
What are the solutions?
It is clear that the plastic office devices need to be a thing of the past, especially considering the danger that COVID-19 poses to office environments. The solution appears to be a total design rehaul. Changing the structure and material of the keyboard to ensure it can be easily disinfected. The use of Glass Keyboards in the medical fields- especially as keyboards for laboratories and cleanrooms- can offer a simple solution to this issue. As well as keeping keyboard-sharing to a minimum, the use of wipeable keyboards also allows the equipment to be easily and effectively sterilised without worrying about internal damage.
The anti-bacterial and anti-viral keyboards have a smooth, hygienic glass surface that allows the keyboard itself to be wiped clean with various sanitisers and disinfectants or even placed completely in a dishwasher in a similar way to other medical equipment. The lack of gaps or crevices between the keys mean that the liquid can’t touch the delicate technology inside and ensures that the keyboard will still function, even after being totally submerged in water.
It is also clear that another solution is to streamline the office devices in order to reduce the possible surface area for bacteria to remain on. This is also why some devices like this one have a function that turns the keypad into a mouse touchpad with a simple keyboard shortcut. If the touchpad is a part of the hygienic keyboard, it can be sterilised much easier and condenses the traditional office devices into one, compact and easy to clean solution.
Glass Keyboards like the one offered by Cleanroom Supplies are a key change that may help make using your technology safer- whether that is at home or at work. This video demonstrates how easy the wipeable keyboard is to sanitise, its sleek design and different functions as well as it’s superiority compared to the traditional plastic keyboard. It also shows the universal suitability of the device for any environment, the hygienic keyboard would not look out of place in a dentist or doctor’s office as it makes it easier to provide safe treatment whilst recording patient information. It is also appropriate for other highly sterile environments like laboratories or cleanrooms as well as a germ-conscious office.
Is this solution for me?
The idea that glass keyboards are only keyboards for cleanrooms or laboratories is a myth. The importance of sterile office equipment cannot be overstated in the current environment especially as people are beginning to return to work after isolating for long periods of time. The clean wipe, glass keyboard is compatible with anyone’s hand, even if they are wearing medical gloves or if their hands are still wet.
Not only is the glass surface safer, it is also more stylish. With an ergonomic design that allows anyone to cut down on clunky plastic, the LED backlight makes typing in darker conditions much easier- whether you’re working late or in a low light environment for work. The clean wipe keyboard available from online retailers like Cleanroom Supplies is an interesting and hygienic update for the modern office.