Even if it is not cold and flu season, it is always best to take steps to prevent the accidental spread of germs at work. Sickness can lead to an increase in absenteeism in the workplace, a loss of productivity and leave projects undone. It is good to give yourself an occasional refresher on steps you can take to better ensure you are not accidentally spreading germs at work.
Learn How To Sneeze and Cough
Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough is essential to prevent the spread of germs, but you have got to cover your mouth the right way. Sneezing or coughing into your hands runs the risk of you spreading germs with every surface you touch afterward. It is better to sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your elbow. Sure, you may have a wet stain on your shirt, but at least you will keep that stain to yourself rather than spread it over the office.
Keep Hand Sanitizer at Your Desk
Get into the habit of keeping hand sanitizer at your desk or cubicle. Use it before utilizing office equipment to prevent spreading any germs you may have. Wipe some on your hands after using equipment to get rid of any germs you may have picked up while using the equipment. This can be a hard habit to develop, but making the effort could go a long way in shutting down the spread of germs at work.
Refrain From Touching Your Face
An eye expert like Rohit Varma can tell you that you can pick up an eye infection by touching your face. Know that that applies to other types of infections, too. For that reason, you should refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth while at work. The reason for this tip is that germs can linger on tables, desks and doorknobs for as many as two hours. When you touch your face after opening a door, you can potentially become sick if the surface is contaminated.
Wash Your Hands the Right Way
To better prevent the spread of germs, wash your hands in addition to using hand sanitizer. Better yet, be sure you wash your hands the right way. Specifically, you want to scrub your hands with soap lather for at least 20 seconds, making sure you get under your nails, between your fingers and on the backs of your hands.
Contrary to what you may think, you do not always have to use antibacterial soap to kill germs. In fact, using antibacterial soap can actually result in antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. That resistance makes it harder to kill germs. Regular soap works just fine. Stash some moisturizing lotion at your desk to keep your hands from feeling dry and cracked after you wash them.
Know When To Stay at Home
It is great to be dedicated to your job, but make sure that dedication does not become a danger. If you wake up coughing and sneezing and sniffling, it is better to call in sick rather than go to work and spread your germs. Everyone’s immune system works differently. While you may go to work anyway because you know you will bounce back quickly, you could put your coworkers out of commission for much longer if they catch your germs. You may hate to fall behind in work or miss out on making money, but you do not want to start a nasty round of sickness. Also, there is a chance that round of sickness could come right back around to you again and force you to stay at home like you should have done the first time. Get sick and get better once rather than spread your germs around.
Keeping germs from spreading more than necessary is undoubtedly a team effort in the workplace as well as in your community. Use the tips to give avoidable sickness the boot.