How Not to Spread Germs at Work

In an ideal world, no one would have to come to work when they’re sick. The sad reality of it, though, is that a lot of people either can’t really take sick days for fear of falling too far behind in their duties — or don’t have the luxury of paid sick time at all. If you fall under the heading of “People Who Usually Have to Work Even When They’re Not Feeling Well,” though, you should definitely take measures working toward both of these things: One, getting yourself healthy again (because being sick sucks); and two, avoiding spreading those germs around the office.

Fast Company — who, by the way, have really been knocking it out of the park with its video content lately — have kindly put together a quick video demonstrating a whole bunch of ways you’re probably either getting or catching germs at work. Not only that, but in the interest of solving the problem, the video also includes how you can combat the bad habits you (and, let’s face it, probably everyone else) have that are contributing to the spread of the ickies.

Here are five ways to avoid getting all your coworkers and yourself sick; scroll down to watch the whole video.

1. Wash Your Dang Hands

And I don’t just mean running them under the cold faucet for a second after you finishing doing your business or sneezing or what have you. Use hot water and soap, and make sure you suds up for at least 30 seconds.

2. Be Mindful of Shared Spaces and Objects

You don’t have to go all out and disinfect the entire break room every time you set foot inside it — but if lots of people have been handling something like the communal coffee pot, take a second to wipe it off before you use it yourself.

3. Eat Healthy

Okay, so yes, the whole “vitamin C will help you not get sick” thing might be a bit of a myth — but it’s still worth making sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need anyway. They’ll keep your body in better condition, which will help it ward off illness.

4. Get Vaccinated

Granted, we’re having a little bit of a problem with the flu vaccine this year — the virus kind of, um, mutated, so the vaccine most of us got might not be that effective anymore…but generally, it’s a good idea to get your flu shot every year. Hopefully next year’s will actually target the right strain.

5. Stop Touching Your Face

*Guiltily lowers hand from chin.*

Watch the full video below:

Images: jamelah/Flickr; Fast Company (5)