There’s no denying it, autumn is upon us, which can mean only one thing – it’s the beginning of cold and flu season. If you’re the organised type, you’d have already got yourself a flu shot; but the rest of us will spend the next six months trying to dodge sneeze-spray and avoid anyone who looks less than 100%.
Unfortunately, when you work in an office surrounded by recycled air, it can be incredibly difficult to keep illness-free. However, there are ways you can ward off bugs and viruses in the winter – here’s our ten tips on keeping flu-free without having to go kamikaze and wear a cloth over your face at all times.
- If you sit next to a window, open it. Breathing in fresh air instead of one that has circulated around your office for several hundred times, picking up bugs and viruses, will be one of your best chances at staying well.
- Buy a desk plant or ten. Plants help filer the air you breathe, removing airborne bugs and reducing dust levels. They’ll also produce more brain-boosting oxygen, so you might even become more productive to boot.
- Eat healthily and heartily. Your mum was right, eating well and making sure you get the right vitamins and minerals can help boost your immune system so it can fight off bugs more effectively. Vitamin C won’t do it alone, but a balanced diet will help.
- Get a humidifier. Air pumped around conditioning and heating systems often becomes dry, allowing cold and flu bugs to thrive, so increasing moisture in the air around you can mean the difference between healthy and sick.
- Keep antibacterial gel on you at all times. You might vigilantly wash your hands every time you’ve been to the bathroom or blow your nose, but that’s not to say everyone else does.
- Avoid any communal food or beverages. One of the germiest places in your office is actually the coffee pot handle, so in winter a personal mini cafetiere may be a good investment. Actually, better make that a mini fridge, water dispenser and kettle too.
- Clean your desk at least twice a week. Keyboards, mice and phones traditionally get grimy, and you never know who’s been touching them while you’re not there. Give them a swipe over with an antibacterial wipe every three days or so.
- Hire professional office cleaners. If your office relies on a rota system of staff to do chores, you can guarantee that it won’t be a thorough job. Hiring office cleaning services London will make sure everything’s spotless, and that no one’s breeding germs.
- Get up from your desk. Moderate exercise can help ward off colds and flu, so try to get up and walk around once every hour. Make sure you always take the stairs, and if you can, walk to work and back.
- Chill. Stress can lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and flu. If you’re feeling stressed out, try some simple techniques to lower it, such as light exercise or meditation.
How do you keep from getting ill in the winter?
Susannah Perez is an office worker with a flu phobia! In her spare time she blogs for EvoCleaning Services with advice for fellow office workers.