The cold weather has changed a few things around here at UK Office Direct. We’re all a bit colder in the mornings and a few of us have the sniffles.
While a runny nose and a sore throat aren’t too serious, colds and coughs can lead to sickness and absences that cost the economy £4.53 billion per year. This is big money so it’s important to take the little steps necessary to keep your office and the people you work with as germ and bacteria free as possible to prevent sickness affecting the workflow in your office.
Follow these tips to ensure there are as many germ-free zones as possible.
- Wash your hands (thoroughly)
It’s important to ensure you wash your hand thoroughly. Washing your hands when you arrive is a good way to prevent any germs you may have collected on your way to work (the train, keys, money etc). Washing these off before you head to your desk and start touching any surfaces there. You should wash your hands in warm water with soaps and rub your hands together vigorously until there are plenty of bubbles and you’ve rubbed all areas of your hand. This rubbing action is what helps lift off germs and wash them away down the drain.
- Careful what you touch
On average, you touch 300 surfaces every 30 minutes. Think about it, your keyboard, mouse, coffee cup, phones, pen, notepad and more are all in constant contact with your hands. Shared surfaces like meeting room keyboards and areas that colleagues are touching could increase your chance of picking up germs.Touching these surfaces or someone touching your keyboard, for example, is quite unavoidable unless your launch a ‘no touching my stuff’ policy. Instead, the best thing you can do is limit the number of times you touch another desk, and use antibacterial gel to ensure your surfaces are hygienic again after someone used them.
- And that leads onto santisers
Using a hand santiser or anti-bacterial gel can help cut down on the number of times you need to wash your hand. Keep some on your desk and a few in communal areas and remind your team to use these when entering or exiting the room. Especially handy in a kitchen area where various foods are stores and where germs and bacteria can easily build up.
- Don’t eat at your desk
We all try to live by this rule for a few weeks at least when we start a new job. But inevitably we get bogged down and start working through lunch or it gets too expensive to eat out every day. However, if you have a communal kitchen with a dining table, head there to eat your lunch. One it will keep your desk and keyboard clean and eating away from your desk gives you a much-needed break and can make you more productive too.
- Coughs and sneezes
Is there a right way to cough and sneeze? Yes, there is.
Preferably you’ll keep a box of tissues on your desk so you can grab one to catch your sneeze or a cough in there. Moisture particles that fly out of our mouths when we cough and sneeze travel very quickly and travel far and wide – most of the time without us realising. Instead, catch your sneeze in a tissue and dispose of it straight away, failing that cover the area of your mouth and nose with your hands to create a shield and apply hand santiser to remove any germs before you carry on working.
- Take a sick day
While you want to appear to be a hard-working hero, there’s nothing worse that can happen than taking down the whole team with you and everyone ending up ill. Businesses and the economy lose a lot of money due to preventable sicknesses and if you feel unwell, you should go home and rest. This way you avoid spreading germs to other colleagues. Many offices offer flexible working for poorly colleagues, if you feel unwell, find out if you can borrow a laptop or access your files from home. This way you can continue working but without having to travel to work on an exhausting commute when you are ill. You can rest, have a hot water bottle and work at home more effectively than you would if you are feeling sorry for yourself in the office. And if you get tired, simply log off and go to bed.
- Order santisers.
Ask your office manager or administrator to order you some hand santisers and larger dispensers for the meeting rooms and kitchen. You can also order some of the following items:
- Antibactierial wipes
- Germ killing handwash
- Moisturiser (hand washing and gels can be drying – you want to keep hands nice and hydrated)
All of these are available on UK Office Direct.