The moment you hear your colleague coughing and sneezing, you know that germs are going to be spread around to everyone else in the office. Office desks are a hotspot for germs, where they quickly fester and multiply. Water fountains, kettles, photocopiers and break out areas can be covered with nasty bacteria as well. Although the domino effect does apply to workplace illness, there are steps you can take to ensure you don’t catch the latest bug.
Keep your distance
If one of your colleagues seems like they’re coming down with something, avoid close contact and make sure you don’t share pens, snacks and phones.
Avoid touching your face
Try not to touch your nose, mouth or eyes throughout the day. Every time you do this, any germs you’ve picked up from phones, door knobs or appliances will transfer onto you and increase your chances of picking up an illness.
Clean your workspace
Having a dirty, messy desk gives bacteria and germs the perfect place to live and multiply. Make sure you wipe down your desk at least once a week and don’t leave any dirty cups or food containers lying around.
Use disinfecting wipes
You should always keep a pack of disinfecting wipes on your desk. Particularly if you eat lunch at your desk, it’s important to wipe down your desk before and after. You should also use wipes to clean your phone, keyboard and shared items such as microwaves and kettles.
Wash your hands with soap and water
As adults, being told by your employer to make sure you wash your hands can seem very patronising but it is one of the most important parts of stopping the spread of germs. Briefly running your hands under water won’t get rid of any germs. It’s important to wash your hands with soap and water and make sure they are properly dried before leaving the toilet.
Keep hand sanitizer on your desk
Use hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially after having used shared office supplies and appliances. This will stop you from spreading germs around the office and will help you fight off any harmful bacteria you could have picked up from your colleagues.
Don’t cover your mouth or nose with your hands
Make sure you never cough or sneeze into your hands even if you’re not ill, make sure you always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner arm. Coughing and sneezing into your hands can cause germs to spread like wildfire from everything you touch throughout the day.
It’s a team effort to keep an office clean and free of nasty germs. Educate your colleagues about the spreading of germs in the workplace and the importan. Lead by example, take the time to clean your desk and shared appliances and ensure that you regularly wash your hands and sanitise throughout the day.