Whilst working in an office allows you to be constantly in contact with members of your team and work together on tasks when required, it also opens the door to the spread of disease. In a study from the University of Arizona, it was found that it takes just four hours for the germs from a door handle to spread to work spaces and the hands of over half of the employees in an office.
Getting the flu shot is one way to protect yourself but there are many other ways that will also help you to reduce your chances of picking up the flu this season.
Follow the six-foot rule
The particles from a sick person’s mouth can travel up to six feet so it is advised that when talking to someone who is unwell that you stand at least six feet away from them. This means when talking to them and also when you are around their desk as they may throw particles from other objects onto you unintentionally.
Of course, the best thing to do would be to advise those who are sick to work from home until they are illness free so that they don’t make the rest of the office sick.
Wash your hands
Regularly washing your hands is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t have any nasty germs sitting on your body for long periods of time. This means that it is advised to wash your hands after touching anything that is considered to be communal.
Additionally, it has been shown that a fist bump is 20 times more hygienic than a handshake so if you can convince the rest of the office to convert to fist bumping instead of a handshake then you are on your way to hygienic city.
Get your personal space
In an open office finding your own personal space can sometimes be a challenge as people constantly ask you questions and share your desk. Facing away from the foot traffic and being clear about your personal space will help to reduce the likelihood on your picking up the flu from someone else in the office.
This will also help your productivity and can help to reduce stress both of which will be beneficial for your work and also your body’s ability to fight any diseases.
Wipe and clean
Your desk and other’s desks will be covered in bacteria. Whilst not all of this will be bad bacteria, anyone who is sick will have left their mark on their desk at the end of the day. Wipe down your desk and those around you to limit the nasty bacteria that are left to populate your office overnight. And don’t be fooled by an office desk, these have been shown to contain 400 times the bacteria of a toilet eat.
Following these simple steps will help in your fight against getting the flu and consequently ensure that you can remain productive at work.
David Smith was born and raised in Calgary Alberta and loves to share his passion for health and fitness with others. Apart from running his own podcast, which uploads weekly shows that covers current health trends, he spends his time canoeing and backpacking. David recently spent a summer working at the CFIA as a health supplement reviewer. In regards to academics, David studied kinesiology at Guelph University.