How Not to Get Sick at Work
In Sickness and Health
In the 2012-13 season, the flu has started and spread early. Several cases have been reported across many states and their have already been a number of hospitilzations. While every case is different, there are certain places where you are more likely to get sick. One of those common areas happen to be work.
Many of us who are fortunate to work outside of the home these days have to be careful to not get sick. While it is easier said than done, there are some simple tips you can follow to prevent yourself from calling in sick to work or even worse, going to work sick.
And if all else fails and you did get sick, you will know how to properly survive the cold and flu season for the rest of this winter and into the next year.
Tip #1: Don't Go Anywhere with a Fever
If you don't know, the flu is contagious illness. And if you have a fever, that is one of the clearest signs that you are under the weather.
That being said, do everyone a favor- including yourself and stay home if you have a fever over 100 degrees.
If you come in to work with a fever, not only do you risk increasing your chances of a quick recovery but you also risk infecting co-workers. And while you think you are doing a great thing by making your money for the day, you're actually costing the company more money.
The thing is if you are sick and come in and you infect a co-worker or group of co-workers, it is highly likely you make them unable to come in and the company loses money and time by trying to figure out a way to get the work done in an efficient manner.
So do us a favor and take your temperature, if you're too hot to trot in to work- stay home!
Sources and Further Reading
- ‘Tis the season: Cold and Flu season hits early this year - Rawlins Times: News: flu, bi-rite, rawli
If you haven’t gotten a flu shot by now, you are probably thinking twice.
- 6 Ways Your Job Is Making You Sick, And What You Can Do About It
At the height of cold and flu season, you may be wondering whether or not it's even safe to enter the office, between the sneezing woman to your right and the coughing man to your left. And while you're right to question when it's appropriate to go t
- Too Sick to Work?
You wake up feeling crummy. Should you drag yourself to work and risk infecting coworkers? Or should you phone in sick, even though your boss desperately needs you to pitch in during a stressful week?
Tip #2: Wash Your Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer
Why you think I might be trying to patronize some of you by suggesting this, I am not. It is something that needs to be addressed.
There are far too many times where I have heard stories of people not washing their hands and things deteriorating from there.
While it is a tedious task, it is also necessary to prevent the spread of germs. Every trip to the restroom, touch something that can transmit germs like paperwork, or sneeze, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
It is true that both hand washing and hand sanitizers deplete the moisture from your hands, there is an easy solution. Invest in an hand sanitizer with lotion or apply hand lotion after using it each time. That way you can ensure good health.
Tip #3: Be Careful Eating Communal Food
Now some of you may use this as an excuse to avoid eating your supervisor's jello salad, this is no laughing matter. Any food that involves touching you need to be very careful in eating.
For instance, if your office holiday party has a cookie tray, you may want to reconsider grabbing a cookie. Not only will you save yourself unnecessary calories from the cookies, but you will also spare yourself some nasty germs.
Now if your work has a veggie tray that is accessible with tongs, you may want to give it a shot. But beware, those tongs might also have germs from others touching it- so you still may want to have the hand sanitizer handy.
Tip #4: Sneeze Into a Tissue or Your Elbow
If you had a mom like I did, this was like her drill sergeant course for how not to get sick and how to be courteous to others..
But it's true, if you have to sneeze grab a tissue or your elbow sleeve (if you're wearing long sleeves- that is) If all else fails, turn your head and duck down.
Either way, the best course of action is to think proactively and help not spread germs by being careful of how you sneeze. Even if you don't think you have a cold, it does not hurt to be aware and courteous.
As a side note, I would also encourage going outside or to the bathroom to blow your nose. There's nothing worse than being on the phone or engaging in conversation with others and someone on the other side sounding like Foghorn Leghorn.
Tip #5: Clean Your Desk
Huffington Post recently ran an article that said if you clear your desk at the end of the day, you improve your chances of not getting sick. However, you can go a step further and using a disinfectant wipe to swab down your desk at the end of the week.
If you do not know, your desk is a major germ hub. All of those papers, files, and electronics make for a perfect germ-making storm. Not only that, but think of the co-workers and supervisors coming by touching your space everyday. While all of these things may seem minute, they add up in the long run.
I personally recommend buying Lysol or Clorox wipes- they come in three-packs this time of year and are very cheap.
Common Cold Sense
I am in no way a genius but I do know a little bit about getting sick. I've been sick most years of my life for at least once a year. I've had everything from pneumonia to bronchitis to the flu. Some of this had to do with my work environment, but a lot of it comes from dealing with a history of allergies and asthma.
That being said, I wanted to spread the word so we can stop spreading the germs. Nothing gets me madder than someone who comes to work sick and infects others. I understand the need to make money but when your health is concerned, no dollar amount should be worth putting yourself and others at risk.
My workplace recently installed hand sanitizer at printing and copying stations as well as other common areas. Several people have been diagnosed with the flu and have come into work only to fall ill while risking others well-being.
If you need to put it in plain terms, cover your mouth, dress weather appropriate, and stop touching sensitive areas. While this may be easier said than done, it is possible.
Take care and have a safe and healthy winter!