Fact: The average keyboard is 5 times filthier than the toilet.
Yes, that thing under your fingers right now is filled with millions of bacteria that can cause all kinds of diseases. We don’t usually think of the keyboard this way but the reality is that it’s just one of the many inconspicuous things in the office that can cause illnesses.
Air conditioned offices are closed spaces where air is circulated around the room repeatedly – which makes it the ideal environment for the spread of germs. This means you can catch the flu from the person sitting 7 cubicles away from you by just being in the same room. And if this person just happens to have poor hygiene and uses the photo copy machine without washing his hands first, then everybody from your floor has a chance of getting the flu as well.
An unhealthy workforce means a lot of pending work and a loss of profit for your company. Although no one can really make their workplace 100% bacteria free, there are a lot of easy steps you can follow that can make it a healthier one. Here are some of them:
Staff Education is Key
The best weapon against the spread of infection in the office is an educated workforce. You can get the company nurse to provide a short briefing on the spread of the flu or take matters into your own hands by looking up guidelines set by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC offers easy to understand guidelines you can send to your employees via email or post hand washing reminders in restrooms and common areas. You can download these from the CDC’s website as well:
Handwashing or using an alcohol-based rub is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Make it easier for your staff to clean their hands by installing alcohol hand rubs in common areas such as the break room, rest room, supply room or conference rooms. You staff can pitch in by keeping 70% alcohol solutions on their desks or having some of the nicer scented hand sanitizers always handy.
Schedule a ‘Clean Your Desk’ Day
When was the last time you really cleaned your desk? Nope, rearranging paperwork and sending wayward clips back into their containers doesn’t count. Give desks a good clean down at least once every two weeks and more often if a lot of people in your office are getting sick. This means vacuuming off the dust, giving surfaces a good alcohol rub down and getting rid of food items that are past their due. Most of your colleagues/staff will be surprised at how good it feels to have a clean, organized desk space.
These tips are so simple; you wouldn’t think they’d be able to prevent the flu! Stay tuned for more beat the office bug tips on Part 2!
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