Workplace Cold & Flu Tips To Protect Your Sick Days

woman blowing nose

We’re in the dead of winter. You know what that means, right? Dry skin, snow storms, ice-cold temperatures, and germs – lots of them! And get this: Illnesses and viruses are more likely to spread through the workplace since everyone is in such close quarters. Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take to stay healthy this flu season. Read on to find out how to reduce your number of sick days this year!

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Wipe down everything.

Sanitize all commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs, cabinet handles, keyboards, phones, counters, and faucets with disinfecting wipes. According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona for the Healthy Workplace Project, the “wash, wipe, sanitize” protocol reduced a person’s chances for catching the flu and common cold by 80 percent.

Wash your hands.

And do so often, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after being outside. One of the most effective ways to prevent germs from spreading is by washing your hands using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to carry a travel-size hand sanitizer around with you just in case you don’t have access to soap and water.

Get vaccinated.

Although many folks are still skeptical about getting the flu shot, it’s the best way to reduce your chances for catching the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stay home when you’re sick.

If you do come down with the flu or common cold, the best thing you can do is stay home and get some rest for at least a day. It’s not fair to your co-workers!

Keep your distance.

Avoid shaking hands with and sitting near sick co-workers. And if you have no choice but to show up to work sick, keep your distance from your co-workers to protect them from getting sick as well.

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Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

During this time of the year, it’s especially important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, increase your fluid intake, and aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night to boost your immune system.

Be considerate.

Did you know that germs can travel up to 3-5 feet when you sneeze? So, the next time you cough or sneeze, remember to cover your mouth and nose using your elbow or a tissue because no body – and I repeat no body – wants your germs!