It’s never a pleasant thought, but research has shown that the average office or workplace in general has the potential to be one of the most germ-ridden and unhygienic settings imaginable. On average, you’re looking at no less than 21,000 germs per square inch – all around you, all day long. Suffice to say, this really doesn’t bode well for anyone during the season of winter colds, flu and sniffles – it’s really little wonder office outbreaks are quite disastrously common.
The thing is however, they really don’t have to be. Avoiding germs in the workplace and generally preventing a mini-epidemic is both possible and surprisingly easy, just as long as everybody plays their part. But as you of course know that most people will not play their part, it’s up to you to look after yourself and safeguard your own health.
If you can get into the habit of using hand sanitiser gel on a regular basis throughout the day, you’ll stand a massively improved chance of staying healthy. Chances are that any germs making their way into your body are going to do so with the help of your hands, so keeping your hands properly sanitised is rule number-one.
A quick point but an important point nonetheless, it’s absolutely imperative that you get out of the habit of chewing the end of your pen or pencil while going about your business. This also happens to be somewhere you’ll find a minimum of 21,000 germs per square inch – putting them in your mouth is not the best idea.
No Desk Lunching
If your office has a canteen or a designated eating area that’s regularly cleaned or at least wiped down, chances are it will represent a much more hygienic location than your own desk. So if you think you’re doing yourself a favour by eating at your desk, you may very well not be.
Wipe it Down
Invest in a decent pack of antibacterial wipes and give your entire working area a good going over on a regular basis. In particular, pay close attention to things like keyboards, computer mice, telephones and touchscreens – all of which tend to be bewildering breeding grounds for germs and bacteria.
This is also the time of year to be very wary of anything you may be required or compelled to share with others. Things like smartphones, tablet PCs, pens, pencils and general office supplies across the board – anything that gets passed from one person to another with any kind of frequency is the kind of thing that could be carrying all manner of bugs.
Last but not least, there’s really nothing to gain from biting the bullet and heading into work if you’re sick – at least if you prefer not to be the primary cause of an office outbreak. Unless it’s an absolutely dire emergency and you have zero say in the matter, keep your germs and sniffles to yourself rather than sharing them with your work mates.