Virus Proof Your Workplace in 4 Steps

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The news is full of unsettling information about Coronavirus spread, and that’s likely to escalate in the next few weeks. But the truth is, there are almost always germs floating around, and no one wants to risk getting sick.

Bosses and managers can emphasize good habits and show workers they care about their overall well-being by prioritizing good health. Protect against both bacterial infections and viruses in the workplace when you follow these steps.

Educate Everyone

It’s okay for them to think of you as the company germophobe if it leads to better health. At your next meeting, spend a few minutes giving a refresher course on how microscopic organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa spread. Then explain how regular, thorough hand washing kills them.

Most germs, including Coronavirus, spread through moisture droplets that pass from person to person. Sneezes, coughs, saliva, even breath can transfer infection. Since with many illnesses, hosts can be asymptomatic and still contagious, employees should be proactive about guarding themselves and their co-workers from the risk of infection.

Supply Germ Fighting Products

It doesn’t do any good to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze if after you do, you touch doorknobs, light switches and shared computers. It’s better to catch those germs in a tissue, but employees don’t always have much warning before a coughing or sneezing fit. Help them out when you stock up on tissues and place them where they’re easy to reach.

Place hand sanitizer right next to the tissues. Grab a squirt now and then yourself to subtly encourage others to do the same.

Pass out packets of sanitizing wipes so staff can disinfect their personal workspaces. If employees eat lunch in a breakroom or other shared area, leave a tub of wipes there as well.

Encourage Sick Staff to Stay Home

Some employees don’t call in when they aren’t feeling well because they’re afraid it will reflect negatively on their performance. Others feel like they need to “tough it up” and power through, so they take medication to mask symptoms and report to work as usual.

However, it’s better for everyone if sick employees stay home. They’ll get well faster and won’t risk infecting their co-workers. Make sure your team knows you encourage them to take time off if they get sick.

Make Disinfecting Easier

Virus and bacteria-laden droplets can stay infectious for hours, even sometimes days after they land on surfaces. Disinfectant kills them, but if your workplace is cluttered, they have plenty of places to lurk in the mess.

Consider requiring employees to clear their desks at the end of the day and to not leave personal items in shared work areas. That will make it easier for your cleaning crew to thoroughly disinfect.

When everyone works together, germs don’t have a chance to spread. You significantly reduce everyone’s risk of getting sick at the office.

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