Few things affect productivity like getting sick at work. Having to miss work or feeling ill on the job is a nightmare.
While you might not have complete control over getting sick, there are several things you can do in the workplace to help you avoid office germs.
Avoid People Who Are Sick
You might not be able to cancel a meeting or move desk spaces when people are sick, but you can still take some preventative steps. Try not to get too close to people who don’t cover coughs or sneezes properly, and avoid shaking hands whenever possible if you know someone is sick.
Get the Flu Shot
The flu shot is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself. It might not give you a 100% chance of avoiding getting sick, but it can increase your immunity and reduce the severity if you do get ill, making it easier to avoid an illness that will keep you out of work for several days.
Sanitize Your Work Space
Research shows that common work items such as your keyboard, phone, mouse, and ID badge have more bacteria than a toilet seat. But when was the last time you gave your desk a thorough cleaning?
Set up a cleaning schedule on your calendar to make sure you sanitize these things regularly. Keep disinfectant wipes at your desk if your office doesn’t provide them so that you can wipe down your computer peripherals frequently. This tip is particularly important if you share a desk or computer with other coworkers. If you don’t work in an office, sanitize your tools, your car steering wheel, and anything else you or others regularly touch as part of your workday.
If you can’t sanitize shared tools and workspace, consider using your own office supplies, like dry erase markers or staplers, when illness is going around the office.
Drinking water can help boost your body’s ability to fight illness. Keep a water bottle nearby and fill it often. Avoid caffeinated drinks to help avoid dehydration.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
You’re likely touching a lot of germy things at work, including elevator buttons, door handles, and the microwave and fridge doors. People might object if you went around sanitizing everything in sight, so your best course of action is to practice good handwashing habits
Wash your hands before and after you eat. You should also make a habit of washing your hands after meetings, using the restroom, shaking hands with someone, and any occasion that puts you in the same area as someone who is sick.
Similarly, avoid touching your face or biting your nails so that any germs you’ve picked up between hand washings are less likely to get you sick.
While you might still get sick every once in a while, these tips will help you stay healthy so you can focus on your job.