One is unsure what inspired a professor of soil, water and environmental sciences in the University of Arizona to go digging, of all places, into workstations at corporate offices. But she did, and her observations have revealed that workplaces, especially those of women employees, are teeming with bacteria and germs. The study comes close on the heels of the recent reports that repeatedly warn us about the dire health consequences of germs in coffee-dispensing machines. That cooling towers of most office buildings are home to a trillion bacteria leading to severe respiratory disorders is already an established case. Which is why one should not brush aside as trivial this latest study.
Not only does the recycled air we breathe take a toll, but more a health hazard are keyboards, personal digital assistants, cell phones and desk drawers. Women, apparently, ‘attract’ more bacteria as they carry around more cosmetic products and knick-knacks. The emergence of the dolled up metrosexual man should soon put paid to such discriminatory observations, we hope. But, it is rather unpalatable that the average office desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average office toilet seat.
The corporate world urges us to disengage from the stress of daily routine, so this may be a subconscious tuning in with the earth’s underbelly. Maybe humans are triggering new ecosystems where man and machine can both live close to nature. We’ll take solace in that random thought, as there seems to be no way of ridding us of either the germs or the bacteria.