The pandemic has changed the way we work and live.
After many months of lockdown people have started going to work again. However, the pandemic is far from over and we are still at risk of getting infected. Moreover, 2020 has taught us that we need to be careful of bacteria and viruses in general, not just COVID-19. This is particularly pertinent as flu season gets into full swing in the Northern Hemisphere.
Therefore, now is the perfect time to review how you can avoid getting sick at work.
1. Wash your hands
Washing your hands is one of the best things you can do to avoid getting sick. During your work hours you share many pieces of equipment with your colleagues, from the printer to the refrigerator and coffee maker. This means bacteria and viruses can be transferred to you when you touch the same surface. So, after touching any surface that you share with others, make sure to wash your hands properly. This means washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, using soap or anti-bacterial handwash.
2. Get fresh air
Your workplace should be well ventilated, otherwise you could feel fatigued and may find it hard to focus while working. Also, if anyone working in the same space is sick, the infection will spread easily to other people in the closed environment. If your space is not well ventilated, try to keep your windows open. If that’s not possible then go for a short walk outside during your lunch or tea break and get some fresh air. You will also feel refreshed and be able to concentrate more on your work.
3. Keep a sanitizer handy
It is a good idea to carry a pocket sanitizer with you all the time, and have one stashed in your desk as well. It is not always possible to wash your hands, so whenever you touch any surface like your keyboard, mouse, mobile or printer, use your sanitizer instead.
4. Don’t touch your face
Most of us have a bad habit of touching our faces all the time. When you do that, you risk passing germs on your hands to your nose, eyes or mouth, and from there making you sick. Viruses and bacteria can survive for hours or even days on surfaces. Research suggests that the COVID-19 virus can live for up to three days on certain surfaces, so make sure to avoid touching your face before washing or sanitizing your hands.
5. Wipe surfaces
On that note, you should also use a disinfectant to wipe surfaces that you touch regularly, like your desk, keyboard, mouse, refrigerator handle, toilet seat, doorknobs, and other things and other things that are commonly used by other people. This will also help you to avoid picking up germs.
6. Stock up on supplies
Your workplace’s bathroom should be well-stocked with all relevant washroom consumables. Similarly the site should have sufficient toilet paper, cleaning products, sanitizer and all other supplies to maintain proper hygiene. If there is any shortage in supplies, be sure to draw this to the attention of management. If necessary, buy your own supplies for your desk and personal use.
7. Manage your stress
Work at the office can be very stressful at times. The mental pressure can have tremendous effect on your physical health as well. So, try to manage your stress. You can practice deep breathing techniques for five minutes or do a short meditation while sitting in your desk. If you feel too worried about your work you can talk to your colleague or a friend. Taking a short break from work and going outside for a walk is also very effective in clearing your mind.
8. Get enough sleep
It is important to get enough sleep in order to avoid getting sick. Whether working late or spending too much time with their electronic gadgets, many people don’t get the required seven to eight hours sleep every night. If you don’t get enough sleep not only will you feel tired during the day, but this also weakens your immune system over time. This means your body will also not be able to fight infections effectively. So make sure you head to bed early!
9. Eat healthy meals
You should also skip the junk food if you don’t want to get sick. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will boost your immune system. Make sure to eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and green, leafy vegetables to save you from the flu and other infections.
10. Avoid contact with sick people
It is vital to steer clear of anyone in your office who is showing symptoms of being sick. In fact, you should encourage anyone who is sick to go on leave or ask your employer to allow you to work for home for a few days.
The best way to avoid getting sick is to follow proper hygiene at work. By washing your hands and wiping surfaces regularly you will be able to limit the spread of germs.