This time of year is notorious for spreading colds, but not for the reasons you may expect. Colds and illnesses can sweep through your office because you are indoors more often and trapped in close proximity to people that may be infected with viruses or bacteria.
As we previously reported in our office bug infographic, colds and other illnesses cost a company $1,685 per employee on average. That’s quite a sizeable loss! Luckily, you can optimize your workplace with these office health hacks to keep colds at bay:
Schedule Desk-Cleaning Breaks
No matter how many company emails you send out reminding employees to sanitize their workspace there will be a few busy beavers who won’t make the time to wipe down their mouse, keyboard and desk. 80 percent of infections are spread by touching infected surfaces, so employees should be cleaning their workspace at least once a week.
Schedule two 10-minute breaks throughout the week specifically for employees to sanitize their workspace. When they’re not trying to add the task to a full workday your employees are more likely to clean their desk with sanitizing wipes, killing germs in the process. Provide employees with promotional sanitizing wipes they can keep at their desk to clean on their own time, too.
Place Hand Sanitizer at High-Traffic Areas in the Office
Your employees should ideally wash their hands anytime they sneeze, cough, blow their nose, prepare or eat food, or come in contact with someone who may be sick. Unfortunately, taking that many trips to the bathroom can be unrealistic.
Place bottles of promotional hand sanitizer around the office where people tend to congregate, like at the front reception desk, in the break room and by the printer. Employees who use hand sanitizer five times a day are 66% less likely to become ill than those who just wash their hands.
Humidify the Air
Cold, dry air can weaken your immune system and destabilize your mucus membranes, making you and your employees more susceptible to infections. Keep the cold away by using humidifiers in your office to maintain optimal mucus membrane health and make the air humid all day long.
Just remember that humidifiers must be cleaned regularly in order to prevent a buildup of bacteria, since the instrument is constantly moist. Don’t worry, though – any product that must be maintained will have cleaning instructions included. Just follow the instructions and keep your air pleasantly humid.
Don’t Share Drinkware
Especially during flu and cold season discourage employees from using the shared drinkware in the kitchen. Though most employees will likely wash their mugs and cups properly all it takes is one incident of poor cleaning to create an outbreak of illness.
Provide employees with their own stainless steel vacuum bottle that they bring to work they can mitigate the spread of germs easily. Reusable bottles also cut down on plastic waste!
Keep your office germ-free while incorporating your brand into the top hygiene and office cleaning products: contact your HALO Account Executive, Lana Bento, to order promotional products that also keep your employees happy and healthy.
Lana Bento, CAS
Certified Advertising Specialist as designated by PPAI,