Prevention is always better than a cure. Sickness in the workplace causes missed deadlines, inadequate work, and overall low morale. However, catching a bug at work can be avoided by employees following these simple guidelines:

Personal spaces need to be clean

Your desk is one of the best places for germs to form. Breathing on and touching the handset and keypad all day creates a breeding ground for germs. Next would be your keyboard/mouse and work area, in general. After touching your phone, you might touch your face or your nose and put your hand directly on your keyboard. So you just transferred germs to everything on your desk. Wipe down your area with a germ killing wipe or spray like Lysol often. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

Be aware during flu season

You can clean your work area 50 times a day, but ultimately that is not going to keep you from getting sick. The best practice for everyone is to “Wash Your Hands” with soap and water often. Always try to use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing. This will assist with germs becoming airborne.

Get vaccinated

Help prevent unwelcome illness and stay healthy by getting an annual vaccination. Getting a flu shot at any point in the season is still beneficial in preventing the flu.

Don’t try to be tough

Employees feel that calling in sick is not acceptable and they have a fear of not being able to work. While being off does cause conflict at times, it is the responsible thing to do.  Coming to work sick is a lose-lose scenario for everyone. Without rest, the sick-employee is not productive and makes mistakes. The employee takes longer to get better and will more than likely spread their germs. If you work with elderly patients, an illness like the flu can be deadly to them and to others with a low immune system.

For more useful tips and information go to: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/  and http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/stopgerms.htm