We’ve already entered that time of the year in which many office workers tend to take great caution when it comes to their health. If you haven’t already guessed it, we’re talking about flu season.
Whether or not you’re prone to experiencing the symptoms of influenza or just the common cold (which can sneak up on you just about any time of the year), there are a few measures you can take to minimize your chances of having to call in sick. The following are some helpful tips to keep in mind in the workplace.
- Wash Your Hands Often
You should always wash your hands when you’re in the office, especially when surrounded by sick coworkers. Germs could be lurking everywhere, so it’s crucial to always wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
Since it’s not always ideal or feasible to leave your desk to regularly wash your hands, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol-based antibacterial wipes nearby. Whether a visitor is just dropping by for a quick meeting and happens to have a cold, or if you’re exchanging documents with a colleague, be sure to clean your hands whenever you come in contact with someone sick.
- Keep Tissues Close and Control Your Gestures
Along with cleaning your hands, you should also use a tissue to cover your nose and/or mouth whenever you feel a sneeze or cough coming in. This will help prevent others from getting sick, too. Having a tissue box on your desk is also a must since it’ll help you and your colleagues have reinforcement when necessary. Be sure to always throw out any of your used tissues to block the spreading of germs.
When you’re at your office desk, it’s sometimes tough to control sudden gestures that can practically be second nature for most. This includes controlling the touching of your eyes or nose (even briefly) as well as touching your mouth. These three areas are highly susceptible to getting contaminated with germs when touched.
- Maintain a Clean Desk
Just as you should use antibacterial gel and wash your hands frequently, you should also treat your office space like your own home. Get in the habit of disinfecting your desk a few times a week to ascertain that it’s germ-free at all times.
Be sure to disinfect your office and mobile phones as well as your keyboard and mouse on a regular basis. These are items you’re always in contact with, so they’ll regularly need some sterilizing to keep germs away. This also applies to a conference room phone or remote control.
- Wash Your Own Cups
Keep clear of the kitchen area when it’s crowded since that’s an easy target for getting sick. Seeing as how most coffee cups can harbor a host of germs, it’s recommended that you take your own to work, or use disposable ones.
When washing your own dishes at the office, be sure to do so consistently with soap and warm water—try not to use a sponge that everyone shares, as it could lead to cross-contamination. Instead, just rinse the dish and dry with a paper towel.
- Don’t Go to Work if You’re Sick
This is probably the most straightforward tip of all. Unless your presence at the office is absolutely critical while you’re sick, you should stay home and get the rest you need and prevent others at the workplace from getting sick.
Regardless of your occupation, if you go to work sick, the recovery process could take a lot longer since you’ll still be exposed to more germs and will most likely feel more fatigued. You can increase your productivity levels and those of others by getting the rest you need. If you must be at the office, keep a hand sanitizer ready.
- Avoid Eating at Your Desk
Although a lot of us tend to do it often—especially on the more hectic days—you should try to lower the frequency of eating at your desk. Habitually having food at your desk is like a magnet for bacteria, especially if you’re not cleaning your bureau.
If you must remain at your office desk to eat, be sure to wipe down your work area with a disinfecting wipe after finishing each meal and again, wash your hands after doing so. Moreover, if you or your coworker is sick with a cold or flu, make sure not to share meals to minimize the risk of passing on a virus.
- Practice Healthy Living Habits
By adopting good hygiene practices, these habits will be translated in all facets of your life, including your professional life. Keeping all areas (including desk items mentioned above) of your home clean will lower your chances of getting sick. Disinfect areas you and household members are always in contact with, including light switches, doorknobs, and TV remote controls, among other items.
If someone in your household is sick, you should take measures such as running a separate laundry load and avoiding contact with them as much as possible. Be sure to clean your air vents regularly and use an air filter to promote a clean circulation of air.
- Call an Expert Cleaning Service for the Office
The best way to keep the cold and flu away is to have a professional cleaning service take care of the entire office area on a regular basis. Offices that are frequently cleaned with efficient tools and techniques make the case for a healthy environment to work in—one in which germs are less likely to thrive.
The professionals at 1st Class Cleaning have been cleaning numerous homes, hotels, and offices, among many other locations for years now. We use the latest microbial disinfectant systems and the safest eco-friendly products void of toxins to ensure effective results.