Any office worker dreads the cold and flu season. When a cold makes its way into the office, it’s only be a matter of time before it spreads around your colleagues and reaches you. There are some ways you can fend off a cold, without resorting to wearing a mask at work every day, or taking to spraying your colleagues with anti-bacterial cleaner.
Look After Your Health
The best way to avoid catching a cold is to make sure your immune system is strong. Take care of your general health to help you avoid catching a cold or to fight it off faster if you do catch one. Fuel your body properly and make sure that you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try to ensure you get enough sleep, so you don’t feel run down. If you can, maintain an exercise routine to keep your body fit and healthy. However, if you do have any concerns about your health, see your general practitioner for advice on how to care for yourself better.
If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and not eating well, your body will be less able to fight off the flu or a cold, meaning that you will be sick for longer than necessary.
Keep Things Clean
The best way to combat germs is to keep the things around you very clean. Even if your office has a cleaner, you can keep you own desk space extra clean to help combat the spread of germs. Keep some anti-bacterial spray or wipes in your desk drawer and give the surface of your desk and your keyboard a wipe down every day. Wipe down anything you touch a lot, like your desk phone, mouse, and even your stapler. If someone with a cold borrows something from your desk, give it a wipe when you get it back, too.
Wash your hands more often during flu season, or use an anti-bacterial hand gel if you’ve touched anything that a lot of others will have touched, such as the photocopier or the door handles.
Avoid Areas Where People Congregate
Where there are people gathering, there are germs spreading. Try to stay away from high traffic areas in the office, like around the coffee machine at lunch time, or around the water cooler.
Remember that germs will also gather where lots of people have put their hands. This means that things like the button of the photocopier, office phones, and door handles could possibly be breeding grounds for germs. Try to avoid touching these areas too much, and make sure that you wash your hands after you have touched them.
Get A Flu Shot
If you work in a busy office, or in an industry like healthcare or education, you’re exposed to all kinds of germs. The flu can take you out of action for quite a while and will make you feel much worse than a regular cold. Flu shots are completely voluntary, but ask your doctor about getting one to add an extra layer of defence against illness.
At the end of the day, you’re working in an enclosed space and someone is always bound to catch a cold. Before you know it, everyone in the office will be suffering equally, the virus being passed around like clockwork for the duration of the season. By following the tips and tricks that I’ve laid out today, you will be saved from a winter of incessant coughs and sniffles.
Prevention begins with you! How do you avoid catching (and spreading) colds in the winter months? Let me know your ideas in the comments below.