It’s December and flu season is in full swing. Just this week, I’ve heard countless coworkers sneezing and coughing throughout the office. Everyone knows the key to combating germs is to wash your hands often, avoid touching the “t-zone” (eye, nose, and mouth), and disinfect regularly. Read Staying Well at Work for more information.
If you are sick, it’s best to stay home. But if that’s not possible for whatever reason, quarantine yourself and avoid contact with as many people and common office objects as possible. For example, a new employee recently started at Remi and as I reached out to shake his hand, he politely declined because he wasn’t feeling well. I say, “Bravo!” If only more people would do the same. According to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive commissioned by Cintas Corporation, 84% of employed US adults 18 and older admit to having gone to work sick and 45% of those workers didn’t take precautions to avoid direct contact with others or warn others that they were sick.
Researchers have found that 95% of people don’t wash their hands long enough to kill bacteria, 2 out of 3 people don’t use soap, and 1 out of 10 don’t wash their hands at all after using the restroom. Yuck! Since germs can lurk just about anywhere and have been known to remain active longer on hard surfaces versus soft surfaces, it’s important to clean your desk and office common areas at least once a week. During flu season, it’s recommended to clean once a day. Given the array of germs and bacteria that can be found on various surfaces and objects at any given time, be sure to use a cleaner or wipe that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
Below is a list of the 15 germiest items at your desk and common hot spots throughout the office:
- Computer Keyboard
- Computer Mouse
- Microwave Door
- Coffee Machine & Supplies
Common Office Items & Areas:
- Water Fountain Handle
- Candy Dishes
- Copy & Fax Machine
- Conference Room Table
- Avoid the Holiday Buffet
There are different blogs available on why and/or how to clean your phone, keyboard, mouse, and headset. Lastly, the CDC recommends getting an annual flu shot. Regardless, it’s best to practice good hygiene and cleaning practices to avoid getting ill.
Did you get a flu shot this year? Would you call someone out in the restroom for not washing their hands? Have you gone to work sick before? Share your thoughts or stories with us; we’d love to hear from you.