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Sticky Notes Blog

January 4, 2019

Surviving Cold & Flu Season in the Office

Cold & Flu Season

Image courtesy of iStock under Creative Commons 0 License

As the snow falls and the temperature drops, cold and flu season is in full force. Each year, we all try to avoid catching a bug. From flu shots to hand sanitizer to a vitamin C boost, a bit of individual vigilance can help ward off the sniffles and sore throats. Though it’s difficult to prevent everyone from getting sick, it’s important to take precautions in more public spaces like the office. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to discourage germs from circulating through the workplace. Here are some best practices for surviving cold and flu season.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Throughout cold and flu season, our immune systems are constantly being tested by microbial illnesses. Boosting our body’s ability to fend off these pathogens can make a huge difference. That said, this is not quite as simple as taking some extra Vitamin C.

This is the time to focus on a healthy diet full of nutrient dense meals. Green vegetables, healthy fats, and probiotic foods provide high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial bacteria — all important factors for our immune system. If you’re a coffee drinker, consider swapping your cup of joe for green tea a few days a week. High quality green tea contains a number of anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds, including a powerful antioxidant called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which has numerous benefits. These simple dietary decisions can make a big difference when the germs arrive, particularly if you’re already prepared. Keep a stock of quality teas and healthy, non-perishable snacks at your desk. To save time and stress — especially if you’re shifting your diet during the cold and flu season — think ahead and do some early-week meal prep for your lunches.

This is also the season to prioritize sleep. Quality sleep buffers the abilities of your immune system, while a lack of sleep diminishes them. So, head to bed at a reasonable time, and try to get at least 8 hours a night.

Use Surface Disinfectants

Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer helps to keep unwanted bacteria and viruses out of your system, but disinfecting commonly used surfaces can ensure that the entire office is less susceptible. The EPA provides this list of anti-microbial products with proven efficiency against major strains of influenza. Throughout the winter and spring seasons, maintain a consistent disinfectant routine, as the flu can survive on non-porous surfaces for several hours at a time. Be prepared by keeping a solid stock of these products in your janitorial room.

Take a Sick Day if You’re Feeling Unwell

We often underestimate how sick we actually are, choosing to tough it out and head into the office. By the end of the day, the bug has hit hard and we’re dragging through our final tasks and feeling a whole lot worse for wear. This is exactly how colds and flu viruses begin to make rounds through the office. Pay close attention to your own symptoms, and, if you’re legitimately sick, do yourself (and your coworkers) a favor by resting and recuperating at home.                                                                                                                   

Use Air Purifiers

A quality air purifier can aid in removing germs from the workplace. This is important during colder months, as windows remain closed and heating systems circulate the same air for hours at a time. Purifiers with HEPA filters are the most effective, catching 99.97% of germs, viruses, and allergens, as well as dust, pollen, and mold spores. Outside of cold and flu season, air purifiers are a great way to reduce the allergies of everyone in the office. Check out this line of Fellowes air purifiers for a variety of excellent options.

Consider a Flu Shot

A cold is one thing, but the flu is on an entirely different level. This nasty virus has the potential to keep you at home for a week or more. Though a flu shot won’t give you complete immunity against every strain of the virus, it will reduce the probability that you catch the major ones. Shots are often free at pharmacies,and are provided throughout the season.

Nobody likes getting sick, and businesses suffer when colds and flu viruses circulate through the office. It’s imperative to do everything we can to avoid catching and spreading illness. Utilizing healthy habits, surface disinfectants, and air purifiers are among the best methods for prevention. Fortunately, EON offers a wide variety of cleaning agents, air purifiers, and office supplies of all sorts. Contact us today to learn about everything we offer.