The 6 Easiest Ways to Avoid Getting Sick at Work

The World Health Organization has assured us that contracting the coronavirus in the U.S. is unlikely. But the scare is a reminder of how easily viral infections like the flu can spread and turn into a pandemic. Of course, densely populated places like public transit and workplaces are well known for their ability to spread viruses quickly. While the flu and coronavirus are different, symptoms and prevention methods are similar. So what is a busy person supposed to do? We have a list that’s easier to remember than what color your Uber driver’s car is.

Here are a few simple preventative measures you can take to stay healthy in your workplace.

1. Promote or even provide influenza vaccines to employees

Employers, this one is for you! Invite clinicians into the office to provide flu shots and vaccines. This is not only more convenient but exponentially improves how likely people are to get the flu shot again, not to mention a better chance of not getting sick.

2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds

Especially after stepping off the bus, train or airplane, shaking hands, touching doorknobs, or pushing/pulling open that coffee shop door after your 3rd latte of the day. If you don’t have soap and sink in your pocket, alcohol based hand sanitizer is always helpful!

3. Cover your coughs and sneezes

A simple (and often forgotten) precaution, sneeze or cough into your elbow - not your hand! Let’s make that 10th floor elevator ride up a little less uncomfortable.

Misery loves company, but please keep it to yourself

4. Stay home if you’re sick

Really. Working from home is more possible now than ever and helps avoid infecting someone who can’t afford to be sick, like the parent of a young child or someone with a pre-existing condition. Besides, wouldn’t you rather recover on your couch than on a crowded subway car?

5. Keep frequently touched items and surfaces clean with a disinfectant

Keep disinfectant wipes at your desk and be sure to regularly wipe down your phone, keyboards and anything else often touched (yes, that includes that shiny new stapler your co-workers often borrow).

6. Avoid contact with those who are or may be sick

Try to minimize handshakes and back pats this time of year. That includes high-fives too!

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