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How To Keep Your Office Safe From Illness This Winter

By: Kevin Gardner

It’s easy for germs to spread when cold and flu season arrives at your door. Given the small and confined spaces of most offices, they make the perfect place for individuals to pass along the cold and flu. If you’re looking for ways to keep your office healthy but aren’t sure what to do, don’t despair. With proper cleaning and a team effort from everyone at your company, it’s possible to keep illness at bay while getting work done. Check out these tips to avoid an outbreak this winter.

Make Hand Hygiene a Priority
One of the most common ways for bugs to get around is through dirty hands. Make it easy for employees to wash their hands and sanitize them as needed by keeping antibacterial soap by all sinks and ensuring there is plenty of hand sanitizer for everyone. Even better, look for hand sanitizer dispensers that operate without being touched, so germs aren’t being spread through a common surface. If that is not possible, make it easy for everyone by having a bottle of sanitizer for each employee that is only for their use. It’s important to note that kitchens have more germs than most people realize. Since everyone goes to the kitchen at least once during the workday, make sure there is sanitizer in there as well, for when workers need to freshen up.

Allow Employees To Use Sick Days
Many employers view those who use sick days with suspicion. After all, it’s not uncommon for employees to call in when they simply want a day off. If there are bugs going around the workplace, it’s important to be understanding, and help workers keep sickness down as much as possible by allowing them to have sick days. You can always request a doctor’s note but take each instance into account. If an employee rarely calls in sick and there is something going around, give them the benefit of the doubt, since most people aren’t going to get a doctor’s note when they are already miserable with the flu. Workers who stay home when they are contagious help stop the spread, or at the very least, slow it down. If your main goal is to help your office remain as productive as possible, you should consider this a good thing, rather than trying to make an argument about it. If you believe you cannot accomplish work without a certain employee and not give them a sick day, perhaps it is time to consider restricting certain elements of a position, rather than requiring people to come in no matter what.

Spray Down Surfaces More Often
Surfaces are one of the most common places for bugs and germs to spread. This could be desks, chairs, telephones, door handles or anything that gets touched in the office by various people on a regular basis. Having disinfecting spray on hand makes it possible for everyone to clean off these areas daily, or you could enlist the help of professional disinfection services to ensure everything is safe again if a recent outbreak has occurred. When seeking out a disinfectant, look for one that tells you what kinds of germs it kills, so you can feel confident about using it to clean the office. At the very least, this can cut down on how much of the virus or cold actually makes it around to everyone else.

Keeping your office germ-free isn’t an easy task when cold and flu season is nearby, but there are steps you can take to help it. Make hand hygiene a priority for everyone with plenty of antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. Allow your workers to call in sick when they aren’t feeling well, so you can stop the spread of germs. Finally, using either a quality disinfectant or professional services, get surfaces sprayed down so you don’t have to worry about germs lingering. Combined together, these efforts can have a positive and lasting impact.