Administrative professionals have a lot of personal contact with their coworkers, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a great opportunity to develop good relationships, but it can make life difficult during flu season. The more time you spend with sick coworkers, the higher your chances of getting sick. There are several ways to minimize your risk of getting sick this flu season, so follow these tips to avoid reduced productivity and days off work.
The best way for your coworkers to prevent the spread of germs is to stay home when they are ill. Unfortunately, many people avoid taking sick leave because they are afraid they will get behind on their work or get a bad reputation for missing work during flu season. If you have no choice but to work with sick coworkers, use good hygiene practices to keep germs at bay. Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing your hands frequently. Do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes, as this is one of the easiest ways to introduce germs to your body.
Many administrative professionals share computer equipment, telephones, and office machines with other people. If you are worried about catching the flu, disinfect these surfaces regularly. Wipe your telephone handset, keyboard, desk surface, copy machine, fax machine, and other surfaces with disinfecting wipes, or use a disinfectant spray with paper towels. Disinfectants kill germs and make it less likely that you will develop the same illnesses as your coworkers. If you are going to use a disinfectant on a piece of electronic equipment, be sure to use a product approved for that purpose.
You should also try to minimize contact with sick coworkers as much as possible. You may have to drop packages off at their desks or deliver telephone messages, but you do not have to linger. If a coworker is coughing or sneezing, communicate via email or telephone so you don’t have to come into close contact with the person. If you are really concerned about catching an illness, ask your boss if you can wear a mask during your shift. Masks prevent the spread of germs, so they can protect you during flu season and outbreaks of other contagious illnesses. You should also ask if you can create an office policy to address flu season etiquette. If your boss allows it, this would be a good time to remind people to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.
Administrative professionals often have to work with sick coworkers during flu season, but this does not mean you have to catch the flu. Following good hygiene practices, disinfecting shared surfaces, and avoiding close contact with sick colleagues can protect you from developing a serious illness. These tips will keep everyone in your office as productive as possible during flu season.
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years’ experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.
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