We all love a nice cup of tea or coffee in the morning, during that mid-day slump and definitely when we're working late. However, after reading the research of Charles Gerba we might need to re-think our office drinking habits.
Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at America's University of Arizona, studies the transmission of pathogens by water, food and fomites with a special interest in domestic microbiology. Basically, he looks at all the bacteria in everyday objects and studies the risk involved.
Whats the problem?
Dr Gerba explains that your office space is essentially a cesspool of bacteria and when you think about it, it makes sense. Your favourite mug is being washed in a communal kitchen with a communal sponge used by you and all your colleagues. Eww.
"Colonies of germs are living in your favourite cup," Gerba told Men's Health. According to his research, 20% of office mugs carry faecal bacteria, and 90% are covered in other germs. Again, eww.
What's the solution?
Bring your mug home daily to be washed in the dishwasher, and be sure to dry it thoroughly. If that's not realistic, be sure to wash your cup with hot water and soap before drying it with a paper towel.
What happens if I do get sick?
Stay home. Dr Gerba told UA News that most of us come into work sick and end up spreading our germs around to our co-workers.
In fact, on average, 80% of people say they will go to work sick which can ultimately cost a company approximately $280 in productivity.