How To Avoid The Office Cold

The office can be a tricky place to limit the spread of the cold or flu virus. Under such circumstances, it may be impossible to keep the cold virus away regardless of what type of superfoods make your daily diet. Although catching a cold or flu virus can happen to anyone at any time, autumn and winter can as well be called the cold and flu season. It’s the time when most people cough, sneeze or exhibit other cold symptoms. However, all is not lost and you can protect yourself from this seasonal sickness.

1. Get the Flu Shot

The flu shot may not be 100 percent effective, but it’s the best strategy to curb the spread of the flu virus. Have you ever heard the term “herd immunity?” This implies that if a high percentage of a particular community, for instance, workers in an office are immunized, the ability of the pathogen to spread is restricted.

2.Wash Your Hands Regularly

Germs are everywhere, but more concentrated in places where people congregate. You can get germs by touching the doorknob, using the printer, elevator, your computer and basically anything you touch around the office that has been touched by someone else. While it’s impossible to avoid your co-workers, washing your hands regularly prevents the germs from spreading. More importantly, wash your hands before and after you eat, after using the restroom and after blowing your nose or sneezing.

3. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers come in handy during the cold season. If the office doesn’t provide some, carry yours and place it on your desk where you can easily use it at any time. Spending too much time in communal areas accelerates the spread of the cold virus. Use alcohol-based sanitizers to effectively get rid of the unseen germs. Use it frequently, especially after a handshake with a person having a cold before touching your face.

4. Practice Good Hygiene

Since there’s a lot of movement in the office, cleaning and disinfecting frequently accessed places, objects, and surfaces like doorknobs, coffee machines, computer keyboards, and mouse, reduces the chances of the flu spreading. On the same note, avoid sharing personal items such as your computer, phone, and food with co-workers. By cleaning more and sharing less, you will be safe from contracting the flu from a work colleague.

5. Maintain a Safe Distance

The flu or cold virus is airborne and you can get it from a person sitting six feet away. If you notice a co-worker coughing, sniffling or sneezing, keep a safe distance. It is also a good idea to encourage the affected person to stay home until the virus clears. This will help prevent the virus from spreading further which could render the whole office inoperable.

6. Disinfect Your Personal Workspace

Despite regular disinfection of the office in general, you spend a lot of time at your workstation. Normally, you share files and other objects around the office, including the occasional pat on your shoulder from a passing co-worker. This can still expose you to the virus and to minimize the germs from creeping into your workspace, take the initiative to personally disinfect every object and surface including the pens. Rubbing alcohol is effective in killing germs and will protect you from the flu virus. ”

7. Avoid Touching Your Face

Did you know that the flu virus can survive on surfaces for up to eight hours while the cold virus can live on your skin for up to three hours? This shocking revelation means that if you touch a contaminated object or surface and then touch your nose, eyes, or mouth, there’s a very high chance you’ll get infected. That’s why you need to regularly wash your hands with water and soap or keep a sanitizer on your desk.

8. Stay Warm and Get Fresh Air

The cold virus thrives most during the cold season. This is because our body temperatures drop during winter, and so does the ability of our immune system to ward off the viruses that cause cold and flu. As a precaution, stay warm as much as possible in the office and take regular walks outside for fresh air.

9. Keep an Emergency Tool Kit at the Office

There are numerous supplements that can boost immunity including vitamin C tablets. Whatever product you use, always keep a stash at your desk so that if you notice any signs that you’re getting a cold, you can quickly reach for them. Feelings of fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and poor performance are all warning signs. With the emergency kit close by, you can stop the flu or cold virus on their tracks before they do any damage.

Take Home Message

No one is safe from the cold and flu viruses regardless of the season. While there is no cure, practicing the above tips will keep you safe, even when your co-workers are infected. What steps are you taking to fend off the cold virus?

All images via Pixabay

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