Germs at work!

You spend at least 8 hours a day at work – during flu season, it’s a good idea to know where the viral hotspots are.

During the flu season, spending time in the office around people means more chance of picking up a virus. This is where the germs are lurking, and how you can stay one step ahead of them.

The toilet area

This is an important place to start, so practice the office bathroom drill:

  • Wash your hands after using the toilet and use paper towels or the dryer to dry them properly.
  • If people in the office are sick, use paper towels to close the taps and to open the door. It may sound crazy, but many seasonal viruses just sit around waiting for someone’s hands to pick them up and give them a ride to their next host!

Your desk

It’s estimated that about 20,000 germs per square centimetre can be hiding in plain sight on your desk and the items on it! Here are some ways you can get rid of them.

  • Clean items like your keyboards, mouse and telephone with sanitiser at least once per week. Use disinfected wipes, and do it more often if the people around you are ill.
  • Remember: germs thrive on human touch, so anything that gets regular contact – telephone, mouse, keyboard – is a threat.

The office kitchen

A new study found that kitchens and lunch rooms are among the more contaminated rooms in workplaces, with taps and microwave doors most likely to be carrying potentially harmful bacteria. While you have to share space in the office kitchen, protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Use your own mug and wash it regularly with dish soap and hot water. Dry it with a paper towel!
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean kettle and fridge handles, taps and the buttons on the microwave.
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So, during flu season: wash your hands when you get to work, and before and after eating. Use hand sanitizer before and after meetings, and clean surfaces with disposable disinfectant wipes. Lastly, let someone else control the PowerPoint remote in the conference room: one study showed that gadget registered some of the highest bacteria levels! Stay healthy this winter.