I shouldn’t have to tell you that if you’re feeling symptoms of a cold or flu, you should stay home until you recover. If you are a manager, you should avoid pressuring employees to come to the office when they are sick as well. This is common knowledge, but it doesn’t always happen. Similarly, I shouldn’t have to stress the importance of handwashing. The majority of infections are transmitted through the hands and despite the constant emphasis placed on handwashing, the majority of people don’t effectively wash their hands with soap.
What this means is that even if you only show up to work when you are healthy and you frequently and effectively wash your hands with soap, you are still susceptible to getting sick due to other people’s lack of emphasis on hygiene. Think of all the items that are frequently touched in an office. I sit right across from the break room in my office and can count at least five people who have touched the coffee machine this morning. A couple of feet to my right, one of my coworkers is currently showing another coworker something on her phone. We don’t think about how others can disrupt our hygiene and easily get us sick, but it happens every day.
This is a great concern during flu season. With coronavirus shaking up the world the way it has, it has to be treated with the highest importance. Research has shown that the coronavirus can survive nine days on surfaces that haven’t been disinfected. Door handles, refrigerator doors and even shopping carts pose a risk. Thank goodness my local grocery store has disinfectant wipes by the entrance for me to wipe the handle of my shopping cart. Even when we are removed from flu season and coronavirus- I don’t know who’s touched that surface.
In an office, however, there is a wide variety of people with unknown hand hygiene. Therefore, you should make sure you disinfect commonly used surfaces. It’s been proven that disinfection significantly reduces coronavirus infectivity and is a great way to stay safe. It’s better to be a germophobe than to put your health in danger. Many people don’t think something serious can happen to them until it does.
Some of the surfaces that many people never think to wash can actually be the most contagious. Surfaces such as keyboards, mice and tablets typically have more bacteria than a toilet seat. Think about it. If you constantly disinfect your toilet seat but never do anything about the bacteria in your keyboard, what do you expect is going to happen?
What I highly recommend is getting medical-grade, waterproof keyboards and computer mice as well as medical screen protectors for your touchscreens. Seal Shield, an infection prevention company, manufactures all of these products with unique antimicrobial-product protection as well as the ability to withstand harsh cleaning products. Whereas most keyboards, mice and touchscreens get severely damaged by disinfection (frustrating, I know)
devices allow for your office to undergo the same disinfection routines as hospitals if you so desire. Disinfecting the frequently used surfaces in your office can significantly reduce the risk of getting coronavirus for your whole staff.