Sick Co-Workers? 5 Tips to Ward off Office Germs

The holidays are wrapping up and everyone’s heading back into the office. But unfortunately, they’re bringing some uninvited guests along with them. It’s the height of cold and flu season and many of your co-workers may have encountered some nasty germs on their holiday travels. How do you stay well in an office full of sick people? We can help.

Get Your Flu Shot

If you haven’t yet, be sure to get a flu shot. It really is one of the most effective preventative measures we have for stopping the spread of this disease. Since an infected person can spread their germs up to six feet away, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with the flu when the season is at its worst. Why chance it when there’s a simple option to help protect yourself?

Keep Your Distance

We all have that one co-worker who feels no need to cover up when they cough or sneeze. But even breathing the same air can be enough to spread some airborne diseases. Avoid using coworkers desks, tech, and office supplies if at all possible. If your company allows you to telecommute, now’s the time to take advantage of the policy. And you might want to reconsider going to lunch with that friend who’s been sniffling. Instead, encourage them to stay home for some R&R until they’re feeling better. If it’s the flu, you’ll be better off staying away until their temperature returns to normal for at least 24 hours.

Wash Your Hands

This cannot be said enough. Many winter-time illnesses are spread through touch. So you probably picked up some germs when you touched the door on your way in this morning. And again when you touched the elevator buttons. And the printer. And the coffee maker or water cooler. You get the idea.

The good news is that it’s simple to help stop the spread of disease by touch. Washing your hands with plain old soap and water is just what the doctor ordered to get rid of all of the nasty bugs you may have picked up by touch. Not only will you keep yourself well, you’ll also prevent further spread of those nasty germs.

Stock Up on Supplies

Even if you’re not feeling ill, this is a great time to replenish your cache of tissues. Keep a box or two handy at your desk, and if a germy coworker comes by to chat, be sure to hand over a few. You can also get mini packs to throw in a purse, briefcase, or gym bag.  

Hand sanitizer is a good alternative for when you just can’t get away to wash your hands. Be sure to look for alcohol content of at least 60 percent to be sure it’s effective. And use a disinfectant to wipe down your phone, keyboard, mouse, file drawer handles, and other frequently touched items after others have used them.

Get Care Delivered

Even perfect habits aren’t enough to guarantee you won’t get sick. We live in a germy world, and sometimes illness is simply unavoidable. But if you do happen to contract one of the many bugs floating around this time of year, there are treatment options to help you feel better sooner.

But this time of year, you’re busy. You’re catching up on the stuff you missed over the holiday break. You’re starting off a new calendar year, and prepping for the coming months. You don’t have time to go sit for hours in a waiting room, surrounded by other sick people. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

family-answering-the-door

If you’ve got a nasty cough, or feel the beginnings of chest congestion forming, call in the healthcare experts from DispatchHealth to get you back on your feet in no time. Our ER-trained clinicians are ready and able to administer on-site tests for flu, strep, and other common bugs. And we can get you started on medications, call in prescriptions, and even offer IV antibiotics if needed. Best of all, we come to you. We’ll treat you at home or even in the lobby or conference room at work. A visit from our team costs the same as an urgent care copay, and we accept most major insurance plans, so you won’t even have to foot a hefty bill for the convenience!

about the author
About the Author
DispatchHealth Staff The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.