Yes, it’s that time again. Cold and Flu season. No one wants to be sick, but how do you avoid it when people are coming in and out of your office all day.
Here’s some tips for reducing the impact of the cold and flu season on your office.
Keep a box of tissues on your desk and encourage people to use them. Disposable tissues may not be the most environmentally correct product, but they can help prevent the spread of germs better than using a cloth handkerchief that you put back in your pocket. You’ll just keep reintroducing the same germs over and over with a cloth handkerchief.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Speaking of which, keep hand sanitizer in a public place with a sign encouraging folks entering the building to use it. Also have them distribued around the building for employees to use. We’re taught to cover our mouths and nose when we cough and sneeze, which then transmits the germs to our hands. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of germs through hand to hand contact.
If you’re already sick, stay home. While most of us agree that we truly are indispensable in the office, studies show that coming to work when you’re sick causes an overall greater negative impact on the business since we spread the germs around and more people end up out due to the illness. Do everyone a favor and stay home while you’re sick.
Get a flu shot. While a flu shot won’t work against colds or even every type of the flu, it is formulated each year to preserve against the most prevalent variaties of flu currently present. If you are an older person or have a chronic illness, then it is even more important to get a flu shot. These people have a higher incidence of catching pneumonia secondary to the flu, so avoiding the flu is an urgent matter for them. Take it from me. I spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia a few years ago. I haven’t missed a flu shot since.
Frequently clean surfaces that are often touched like stair bannisters, door knobs, telephones and countertops to help avoid hand to hand contact.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. If you’ve touched a surface touched by someone sick, you can transmit viruses from your hand to the perfect breeding grounds for the virus.
If you have kids, wash their toys frequently in warm, soapy water to prevent the toys from transmitting viruses from kid to kid.
Avoid smoking. Smoking is a respiratory irritant and makes you more susecptible to respiratory viruses. Look – another great reason to quit smoking!
How do you avoid getting sick this time of year? Share your tips with us in the comments section!