How do I get my coworkers to leave nothing behind?
I saw that viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to three days. Many of my coworkers come into work sick. How can I prevent them from contaminating my workspace?
— Helen, marketing assistant
Here’s some healthy advice
Our readers say:
- Disinfect your space.
- “Bug” management about it.
- Don’t contaminate yourself.
Disinfect your space
Helen, you can’t build a bubble around your office space to keep out everyone and their germs. But you can take remedial action.
Tony Salamone suggests the following on MC2’s Facebook page:
“Clean hard surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner or bleach and water solution to kill bacteria and viruses.”
‘Bug’ management about it
An illness that goes around the office results in lost productivity. That makes its prevention a management concern.
A trade show coordinator thinks managers should take an active role in ensuring a healthy workplace.
“Bring your concerns to your boss and ask him or her to place boxes of tissues throughout the office, so people will be less likely to sneeze or cough into their bare hands. Also, suggest putting hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes at the reception desk, break room and areas where staff members gather.”
Don’t contaminate yourself
Despite your best efforts, some germs may still make their way into your space or areas of the office you visit. So, it’s up to you to keep them from making you sick.
An events consultant explains how to do this.
“Unless you’re sure they’re clean, keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes. Also, avoid reaching into those candy and cookie jars for a snack. (How many other people’s hands have been in them in the past day or two?) And, needless to say, avoid eating anything with your hands until you do a quick wash up first.”