During flu season, influenza is a serious concern in the workplace. You work closely and come in direct contact with others frequently, which means germs and bacteria can spread easily from person to person.
The best strategy for reducing your risk of becoming ill with a virus is to avoid crowded settings and other situations that increase the risk of exposure to an infected individual. If you must work in a crowded environment, minimize your time there and observe good hygiene and distancing precautions, such as the following:
- Stay home from work when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not available).
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Then, dispose of the tissue in a no-touch trash bin.
- Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Avoid close contact with co-workers and customers (stay six feet away whenever possible).
- Avoid shaking hands and always wash your hands after physical contact with others.
- Keep frequently touched surfaces (telephones, computer keyboards, etc.) clean.
- If you need to wear gloves, wash your hands after removing them.
- Try not to use others workers’ supplies, phones, computers, desks, offices, work tools, etc.
- Minimize group meetings when possible – use e-mail, phones and text messaging instead. If meetings are unavoidable, avoid close contact with others and ensure that the meeting rooms are properly ventilated.
- Limit unnecessary visitors in the workplace.
Other Ways to Avoid Getting Sick
Live an overall healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise and reducing your stress levels.