Keep your office space germ free and follow some critical hygienic practices in your interaction with others, and you can count on experiencing fewer sick days during this year’s prolific flu season.
Having a defensive as well as an offensive strategy is essential to keeping your office space germ free.
First, think defensively. Your company offices are a closed environment where you interact with lots of other people for at least 8 hours each day. Germs grow and multiply quickly. If a coworker’s child comes down with the H1N1 virus at school, you’re at risk of contracting it from the coworker. We all know how quickly illness spreads through schools and offices. Associates come into your office and cough or sneeze, touch the doorknob, the desktop or other surfaces and leave germs behind. Organize your office to minimize excess clutter so germs have less space to incubate and can be more easily controlled with you being able to clean more surface areas.
Purchase some basic antibacterial wipes or sprays and use them according to label directions. Telephone handsets and earpieces, headsets, keyboards, desktops and doorknobs are critical areas to be wiped down once daily. If you have a meeting of several people in your office, you should wipe down the key areas immediately afterwards. Wipe down after eating in your office, as food residue can be a cause of germ growth.
You bring germs back to your office if you don’t wash your hands while you’re out during the day. Key times are after restroom visits, coughing or sneezing, visiting someone else’s office, handshaking or attending a meeting. If hand washing facilities aren’t available, carry antibacterial hand wipes or solution with you. You will also need a good rehydrating hand lotion.
Remember, you also need an offensive strategy. You work in a closed environment with other associates. If you are the only person working to make your office germ free, you are fighting an uphill battle. If you see areas where your company could improve in keeping everyone’s office germ free, don’t hesitate to bring the subject up in meetings, suggestion boxes, to the HR department or by speaking directly to your boss.
The company should provide these tips on the bulletin board and through the company newsletter on how each associate can keep their office space germ free and post signs in restrooms promoting correct hand washing procedures.
The company should have a policy regarding associates who are ill. While an associate is coughing or sneezing they are actively contagious. If they work during this time, they are spreading germs and making it difficult for you and others to keep your offices germ free.
Following these procedures will keep your office area germ free and reduce sick days.