Between our close working proximities and air-conditioned work spaces, it is no secret that our offices and work spaces are one of the most conducive environments for bacteria and viruses to thrive and spread.
Shared surfaces in the office, such as printer buttons, phones and door handles, are responsible for up to 80% of infections spread, and the average office desk is estimated to be 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat!
Here are a few things you can do to play your part in keeping your office space clean and germ-free, and ourselves and our colleagues healthy and happy!
1. Wipe, wipe, wipe.
Our phones, desks, computer keyboards and mice are typical spots in our office spaces where the most germs reside. Cleaning these surfaces with an alcohol-based or disinfecting wipe at least once a week will keep these pesky bugs at bay.
2. Wash your hands regularly.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but good hand hygiene is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Wash your hands with soap and water regularly throughout the day, such as before and after meals and after using the restroom. Bonus tip: take an extra few seconds to dry your hands off with a paper towel – damp hands spread up to 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands!
3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are your best friend.
While regular hand-washing is unparalleled in its effectiveness in preventing the spread of germs and viruses, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great alternative for those who are always on-the-go. Try using a hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content for an instant germ-exterminating cleanse.
4. “The Dracula Cough”.
Many of us instinctively cover our mouths with our hands when we cough or sneeze, but did you know that the habit only increases the chances of germs and viruses being transferred onto surfaces in our office that our colleagues are also likely to touch? Instead, experts recommend coughing or sneezing into our elbows to reduce the likelihood of infected droplets spreading – the same motion Count Dracula makes when he covers up with his cape!
5. Keep the office pantry clean.
Unwashed dishes and utensils in the sink are a prime breeding ground for germs and other nasty bacteria. Be responsible for your dishes, utensils and cups by washing them thoroughly after each use.
Actively taking these practical steps will help to reduce the spread of germs and viruses in your office, and when cultivated into office culture, will be key to keeping everyone (including yourself!) healthy and happy.
However, despite these precautionary measures, it is inevitable that we sometimes find ourselves feeling under the weather. If you are not well, take the day off to see your doctor and recuperate at home. Or if you really have to be in office, wear a mask to prevent spreading the bug to your colleagues.