If you work in an office, you’ll know that it is basically a breeding ground for germs. When Susan in accounting gets sick, it spreads like wildfire until every single staff member has had a week off work vomiting and the cycle begins again. Gross. For your productivity and sanity, here are some things you can do every day to avoid getting sick.
Keep to your own desk
Okay, so your desk is covered in germs, that’s inevitable, but at least they are your germs. Working in shared office spaces can increase your risk of getting sick as it will be a veritable cacophony of different peoples germs. Try to keep all of your things on your desk space and not spread out across other people’s workspaces.
Keep out of the kitchen
The office kitchen is super gross, no matter how clean it might look. Studies have shown that office teabags might have more than 17 times as many germs as the seat of a toilet! To avoid this cesspool of germs, bring your own tea bags, coffee, and snacks from home and don’t share them! Or head out for lunch, using it as an excuse to get out of the office for a while and fill your lungs with fresh air – much needed!
Bypass the handshake
When there is illness going around the office, we think you can be excused for not wanting to shake hands with the petri dish of germs that is someone else – especially if that person is a hand-sneezer rather than performing the vampire sneeze into the elbow as is suggested. Offer a wave, or a smile instead and if you feel awkward about it, explain that you yourself have been feeling a little under the weather and wouldn’t want to pass it on to them. Everybody wins!
Don’t struggle into work when you are feeling unwell – no one will thank you! It makes a lot more sense for you to stay home and recover, without infecting anyone else. By you taking off a few days, you avoid making the whole office sick and causing an outbreak of people having to stay home unwell just for the sake of appearing like a hero. Make sure you encourage others to do the same. If someone comes in unwell, ask them to go home. Explain that it is unfair on the rest of the office, as well as themselves, and that you can handle covering their work.
Keep it clean
Of course, there is such a thing as cleaning too much, but a quick wipe around your keyboard, desk, and phone with an antibacterial wipe will make the likelihood of your getting infected with germs and becoming sick a little less. Encourage everyone else to do the same (the less other people are ill, the less you will be too!) especially in communal spaces.
You can’t avoid germs fully, and you will probably get a little sick once or twice, but if everyone in your office follows these rules, you will have a much healthier office all round!