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How to keep a healthy office

By Paperstone on October 21, 2019 in Uncategorized
Healthy fruit and vegetables

Five ways to beat colds and sniffles this winter

Winter, the season for wrapping up warm and enjoying a walk on a crisp, clear day. The time for snuggling down with your nearest and dearest in front of a roaring log fire. Or does reality look more like trudging to work in the cold and rain? And then desperately trying to avoid anyone in the office who has a cold.

At this time of the year, people start succumbing to sniffles, coughs, colds, and flu. Offices and workplaces are a breeding ground for bacteria. People traipse in and out, bringing theirs and other peoples germs into your space.

Inevitably we all catch some kind of bug over the winter months and may need to take time off work. In a small business, one person’s absence can have a big impact on performance and morale. So it’s important to try to minimise illness.

Here’s how we try to stop those pesky bugs multiplying in Paperstone HQ.

1) Hand washing

This is a pretty simple way to help stop the spread of germs. Obviously we all know we should wash our hands after going to the toilet; before and after preparing food, and after touching animals. But did you know you should also wash your hands after blowing your nose or sneezing?

Handwashing isn’t just about showing your hands the water for a few seconds and then shaking it off as you walk away from the sink. To properly wash your hands you need to use soap – so stock up on handwash. Wash for at least 20 seconds, which is as long as it takes to sing the ‘happy birthday’ song twice. Then, dry your hands with either a paper towel or warm air dryer.

2) Keep it clean

Studies have shown that desks harbour about 400 times more germs than toilet seats (yuck). Phones and keyboards seem to be the worst culprits for accumulating bacteria. The simplest way to stop transmission of these germs is to keep things clean. Keep a packet of disinfectant wipes handy and have a wipe around every so often.

If you can’t get to your phone or keyboard through the detritus lying around on your desk, it’s time to tidy up. Have a read of our blog about using the KonMari method to tidy your desk space.

Germs are also spread through the air. Minimise these by grabbing a tissue, or at the very least sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow.

3) Eat more fruit

We all know that fruit keeps you healthy. In cold season, an extra dose of vitamins and minerals can help keep your immune system fighting fit. Apples contain phytochemical antioxidants, which according to some studies help boost immunity and reduce the risk of diseases.

The boss who gives their team a well-stocked fruit bowl will not only win points in the popularity stakes, but might even help prevent sickness over winter.

4) Get a good night’s sleep

We all feel great after a good night’s sleep. But sleep also helps your body to fight off colds and illness. While you’re asleep your body is hard at work making extra protein molecules that can help you fight off infections. On top of this, sleep also improves your immune function. A study in the US gave people the cold virus and then monitored the development of illness. The researchers found that people who slept less than seven hours were nearly three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.

5) If you’re sick, stay home

We all know the people who soldier on and come into work despite the runny nose, red eyes, hacking cough, and headache. You just want to scream ‘go home’ at them. They shouldn’t be in the office.

No one should feel they have to come into work when they’re ill. As an employer it makes no sense to make staff come in when they’re sick. Without rest, your staff member will not be very productive and will take longer to recover. Worse still, they’ll spread their germs to the rest of the team. If you are able to, work from home, and keep your bugs away from the rest of your colleagues.

Good luck over the next few months keeping your office illness-free. Aaaa… aaaa… aaaa…Atishoo.


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