Employee Wellness Blog

How to Avoid Spreading Germs at Work

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

As soon as you hear your co-worker sneezing and coughing, you know it’s game over for the rest of the office. Desks and cubicles are a hot spot for germs to fester and multiply. Copiers, water fountains, and break areas can be covered with germs and bacteria as well.  Unfortunately, the domino effect definitely applies for workplace illness, but it doesn’t have to be that way.washing-hands_1155-8.jpg

With flu season in its peak, it’s important that you keep yourself from spreading germs around the workplace. Besides getting a flu shot, there are many other ways to help prevent illness and the spread of germs around your office and co-workers. You shouldn’t wait until you’re feeling under the weather to implement germ prevention. Here are some ways to avoid spreading germs at work:

Stay home. This is obviously the number one way to keep yourself from spreading your germs and illness to other employees. Staying home from work while you are sick not only helps from preventing more employee outbreak, but it helps you feel better a lot sooner too.

Keep your distance. If you do have to be around others while you think you may be coming down with something, avoid close contact with your co-workers. This includes sharing phones, pens, or snacks.

Never cover your mouth or nose with your hands. Whether you are sick or not, always cough or sneeze into a tissue or your inner arm. Sneezing and coughing into your hands causes germs to spread like wildfire through everything you touch throughout the day.

Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. Use a bit of hand sanitizer before and after using shared office supplies and appliances. This will not only keep you from spreading your germs, but it will fight off any germs from your co-workers as well.

Properly wash your hands. As an adult, being told to wash your hands can seem patronizing, but there really is an art to it! Just briefly running your hands under water with a dollop of soap really doesn’t do the trick. Learn how to properly wash your hands to avoid spreading germs on a daily basis.

Use disinfecting wipes. Keep these at your desk as well. If you eat lunch at your desk, always be sure to wipe down the area before and after. Use your wipes to help sanitize shared workspaces such as the office kitchen or break room as well.

Avoid touching your face. Try to refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth throughout the day. This causes germs to spread anytime you touch phones, door knobs, or appliances at your office. It will also increase the likelihood of picking up germs yourself.

Clean up your workspace. Having a messy or dirty desk gives germs and bacteria a great place to live. Clean out any old soda cups or food containers. Make sure any food kept at your desk is sealed up.

Educate others. Sure, you might be known as the office “germaphobe” for a day or two, but educating other co-workers about germs in the workplace will make a huge impact on office health. Lead by example by taking the initiative to disinfect shared workspaces and appliances. It takes a team effort to keep your office clean and germ-free.

Keeping the office clean and free of nasty germs and bacteria is part of every employees’ responsibilities. Put an end to the domino effect of workplace illness by preventing the spread of germs. Remember that even if you aren’t feeling sick, you can still be carrying harmful germs and bacteria with you. Use these tips throughout the year for a cleaner and safer office.

How do you prevent spreading germs to your co-workers? Feel free to share any tips or pointers below!

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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle