We’re back into the months with an “r” in them, which means flu season is officially open. Flu can be such an unremarked danger that there was an article on NOS, a Dutch news site, this past March asking ‘Why are we giving corona more attention than the flu?’ Sadly, the past six months have answered this question thoroughly. Hopefully, bringing a cold to the office is now a thing of the past. But what can you do at your workspace, whether in the office or at home, to keep the flu away? Here are some essential tips:
Tip 1: Get your own keyboard and mouse
The first tip is short but powerful. Do you regularly work a couple of days in the office? Then make sure that you have your own keyboard and mouse. Several studies have shown that the keyboard and mouse are the biggest sources of bacteria in the entire office. Even the doorknob and toilet have fewer bacteria.
Tip 2: Talk to colleagues who show up sick
Before the corona times, colleagues who came to work with a cold earned a sort of respect: “what a die-hard.” These kinds of people made it harder for others to stay home when they had a cold. One of the few positive outcomes of the corona crisis is that it has undermined this crazy idiosyncrasy of office culture. People who dare to show up sick for work now will not be thanked for it. If one of your colleagues comes into the office with a strange cough, take the situation into your own hands and dare to address it with the colleague or their manager.
Tip 3: Make sure you have fresh air in your house
Now that so many of us are working from home, the air quality in our houses has become much more important. Maintain good ventilation in your house by opening the windows in the bedroom(s) and living room. This prevents the home from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Colds aren’t caused by low temperatures but by bacteria. But, you may be thinking, if that were true, why are colds and cases of the flu so much more common during the winter? It’s because we spend so much more time sitting together indoors during the colder months, which makes it easier for viruses and bacteria to pass from one person to another. A badly ventilated space allows them to spread much faster. That’s why ventilation is as important at home as it is in the office.
Tip 4: Be sure to get good cleaning products
It’s important to bring home good cleaning products. They need to kill bacteria and not just spread a nice scent.