Every office has at least one – the employee who’s always off sick. No sooner do they come back from sick leave then they are MIA again in a week or two. If you’re one of those people, you’ll know that being sick seems to be a way of life for you, and days of feeling well are few and far between. Besides getting the right treatment for your chronic sickness, understanding why you keep getting sick is one step to getting better.
According to Stats SA, absenteeism costs SA employers R16 billion annually.
The office is the ideal place for bacteria sharing and spreading, and because most people spend most of their lives there, it’s pretty easy to pick up germs that can make you sick. So how can you make your workplace a healthier place to be to ensure your own wellbeing?
The Benefits Guide outlines their top 5 ways to improve clean office habits to avoid sickness.
- De-clutter your desk
The more clutter there is on your desk, the more likely that germs will thrive and survive. Crumbs, coffee cups, trash and other stuff can pile up quickly and make your desk a haven for dirt and bacteria. Keeping a tidy desk is not only good for productivity, it’s also easier to clean. So, file your paperwork, exile trash to the bin, and regularly wipe down your desk with disinfectant for a cleaner workspace that is germ free.
- Wipe your keyboard and phone
The two things you touch most during the day are probably the dirtiest. On average, computer keyboards harbour 7,500 bacteria, and an office phone can have around 25000 germs per square inch. All of which are transferred to your hands whenever you, or anyone else touches it. To be safe, keep these items clean with a daily wipe down.
- Wash your hands
This is a no-brainer. Since 80% of common infections are transmitted by touch, it makes sense that keeping your hands clean throughout the day is a good way to avoid illness. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating, as well as every time you visit the restroom.
- Use Sanitisers
Keeping sanitiser handy is your best defence against, especially in common areas and conference rooms where shared items like the photocopier, water cooler and coffee pot reside. Instead of picking up someone else germs, stay safe and wipe them down with sanitiser before using them.
- Ask about the vents
Most offices use vents to control indoor air quality, however, oftentimes these vents go uncleaned for months. The result is vents that have clogged filters, allowing unhealthy air to spread through the office – unhealthy air that you end up breathing in. Find out how often the vents are being cleaned, if at all, for your own and your colleagues’ sakes.
When it comes to general office cleanliness, it’s also a good idea to make sure your company is using a professional cleaning company that understands the needs unique to open offices and will ensure a healthier, happier work environment.