Maintaining Personal Health at the Office
Written by Amy Roper (last updated August 23, 2013)
The office is the one place you are required to spend most of your time, but unfortunately, that environment may also be the cause of what's keeping you home right when you need to be at work—illness that you get from exposure or overwork at the office. While you don't have much choice about the germs you share your office with, there are ways you can fight against them., by using some precautions that will protect you and your co-workers you might all survive the cold and flu season. Here are just a few tips that will help you.
- Clean workspace: Keep your workspace clean. Keep disinfectant wipes nearby and wipe down surfaces like your keyboard, desk, and phone frequently. Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and use it often.
- Face: Don't touch your face: main entry points for germs include your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep soft tissues at your desk to use if you need to rub your nose or eyes.
- Hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially around cuticles which can harbor bacteria. Use hand sanitizer frequently when you don't have access to soap and water. Beware germ-harboring and often-touched surfaces like keyboard, door knobs, and banisters, and wash your hands after touching these surfaces, or after shaking hands with anyone.
- Sharing food and drinks: Don't share drinks and foods. As friendly as you might be with your coworkers, and even if they don't seem sick, this is not a good idea because a coworker may be in the first phase of a cold or flu where they are simply not yet showing symptoms yet.
- Avoid sick coworkers: Encourage these coworkers to stay home, but if that doesn't work, do your best to stay out of their airspace, especially if they're coughing or sneezing often.
- Use vacation days: Taking vacations can relieve stress that leads to illness; besides, you'd much rather use these days on an actual vacation than using them later to stay home sick!
- Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and drink plenty of water: These are basic tenants of healthy living but are often ignored or not prioritized. However, developing these habits will work wonders in keeping your immune system strong and resilient.
If you do follow these tips, and germs still slip through and get you sick, remember to stay home yourself. It will do no good to keep the germs spreading throughout the office, and you will recover much more quickly if you can stay home and sleep off the bug.
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