With flu season now in full force, the workplace becomes more and more infested with germs as people usher sickness into work. It’s nearly impossible to avoid germs altogether, but there are some simple steps that, if done consistently, can reduce your chances of getting the flu from your office.
Tips to avoid the flu in the workplace:
Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands often. Germs lurk everywhere in the office and often in places you might not think. Elevator buttons, door handles, drawer handles, the copy machine, the microwave and refrigerator in the break room and on and on.
Washing your hands frequently reduces the amount of germs that may affect you. Be sure to use soap and water and always wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating. It is recommended to wash for at least twenty seconds.
Avoid Your Face
Try not to touch your face. Germs form mainly from droplets when people cough or sneeze. Those droplets can get into your mouth or nose or even inhaled into your lungs.
Germs can sit on skin, surfaces or other objects for up to 8 hours. If you touch something that’s contaminated with germs and proceed to touch your face, mouth or nose you can get sick.
Keep your Distance
People can spread their germs up to six feet away from someone. People who are sick should stay home until they are fever free for at least twenty-four hours.
Use Tissues and Hand Sanitizer
Be prepared with tissues and hand sanitizer. Keep sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at your desk because although that won’t remove every germ, they can greatly reduce the number of germs on your skin after use.
Clean & Share
Items such as phones, computer keyboards, your mouse, etc. should not be shared. Food should not be shared during flu season as well to help reduce the spread of germs. Clean the items you touch most often with a sanitizer that has alcohol.
According to the National Institute of Health, the flu costs employers around $7 billion per year. The Center for Disease Control says that the best way to reduce the spread of the flu in the workplace is to get your influenza vaccine.