Avoid the Office Lurgy in Five Simple Steps
As winter arrives, you can be sure of one thing: the sound of coughing and spluttering around the office and on public transport. It’s hard to avoid the plethora of germs, high temperatures and outbreaks of cold and flu. They do, however, say that prevention is better than the cure, so to give yourself the best chance of avoiding the lurgy this season, we’ve pulled together five simple steps to help.
Keep your hands clean
It may sound like an obvious step, but keeping your hands clean around germ season is imperative: be it after carrying colleagues’ cups to the kitchen to make a brew, or after touching door handles and surfaces. You don’t need to go too crazy and over-clean, but it may be a good idea to keep a mini bottle of hand sanitiser at your desk or in your bag.
Avoid stress to boost your immune system
Its common knowledge that stress can play a part in lowering immunity. Therefore, one of the ways to avoid picking up bugs around the office is to manage your stress levels. Ensure your time management is up to scratch and projects are well-planned out in advance. If you’re having issues with workload or members of your team, or are generally feeling overwhelmed, speak to your manager about the next steps you can take. By reducing stressful and anxious situations, you’re actually helping your immune system to stay as strong as possible.
Keep away from those infected… in a nice way, of course!
This is a tricky one, as you don’t want to offend anyone, however, hand to hand contact or just being near someone who is coughing could leave you with the lurgy. A great way to keep germs at bay is to avoid touching your mouth after you’ve shaken someone’s hand, making sure to wash them or use your sanitiser once they’re out of sight! Alternatively, if a member of the team is heavily coughing, try to keep your distance. If you’re a manager and feel like a member of your team could risk passing on the lurgy, speak to them about potentially working from home. After all, it is better that the whole team don’t come down with the bug and leave you stranded, and any poorly staff have the chance to recover.
Clean your desk
Our desks are a haven for germs. From your keyboard to your mouse to your phone, we are regularly moving bacteria from one area to the next. Keep a pack of anti-bacterial wipes in your desk to clean up at the end of each day and help to prevent them spreading!
Get your vitamins
Your body is going to need an extra boost of vitamins at this vulnerable time, to help your immune system fight back. Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement or through fruits and vegetables, while soups and smoothies are two of the most delicious ways to get in those greens. Why not try this amazing green smoothie recipe or whip up a batch of chicken soup full of cold busting ingredients like garlic, ginger, onions and herbs?
Practising these simple steps will put you at an advantage when it comes to fending off germs, don’t forget to wrap up and keep warm if you feel the chill. If you do happen to get struck down by germs, take time off. We often feel like we can’t step away from work but could be making ourselves much worse whilst spreading the virus around the office!
This article was first published on 16th December 2015.
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