Yes indeed, it’s cold and flu season again.
If you sit at your desk 5 days a week, and for long hours at a time, you are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to flu prevention. Yes you!
While you sit there coding, eating, coughing and sneezing, your desk, keyboard, phone and even your monitor and earbuds or headset have become a sea of germs. If you want to keep from getting sick over and over again or stop your team members from passing bugs around, there are simple steps to take.
Wipe It Out! Wash It Down!
Though it has been said a thousand ways and you hear it constantly, here are the basics once again:
1. Wash your hands properly. Do so when you leave the washroom; when you use someone else’s equipment; when you come back to the office from lunch.
2. Wipe down your desk. There are a lot of you who eat at your desks. If you eat at your desk but don’t clean up afterward you are turning your desk into a bacteria cafeteria, according to Dr. Charles P. Gerba , Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Arizona. If the cleaning crew just dusts your desk and keyboard, all that does is move the germs around to different areas. If you or anyone in your family has a cold, use disinfecting wipes on all your equipment: phone, keyboard, and desk, preferably first thing in the morning or just before you leave. In fact, you should be using these wipes on a regular basis, particularly if you’re in an open office.
3. Clean your coffee cups and glasses. Just rinsing your cups or glasses in the sink is not enough. If you have a dishwasher at work, use it “ especially the drying cycle. The extremely hot temperature kills germs. If there is no dishwasher at work, take the time to wash all your dishes thoroughly in hot water or take your mugs home to clean them.
4. Clear the garbage. Particularly during cold and flu season, insist that your cleaners not only empty your garbage cans but replace the liners as often as possible since you’ve been filling your garbage with tissues and food all day. If you feel the need, ask your Office Manager or HR for extra garbage bags and replace them yourself.
5. Stay away. When you are truly ill, I know many of you feel that you cannot possibly stay home. Sometimes staying home isn’t an option BUT that being said, ill employees cost the company more if they are not performing at their best and make everyone else sick. If at all possible, work from home or take some sick leave and give yourself the time to get better.
Best of health to you this holiday season!