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What Should I Do If My Co-Workers Start Getting Sick?

Businesswoman grossed out by her sneezing coworker

Flu season is upon us, and too many people are showing up for work sick. Perhaps they have deadlines to meet or simply cannot afford to miss an important meeting. Or maybe they missed that part in science class when the germ theory was covered.

Regardless of the reason, the problem remains the same. Sick co-workers spread germs around and put others at risk for illness. So, what can you do to protect yourself? You can’t control whether co-workers come to work sick, but you can take certain steps to reduce the chances of catching whatever they have.

Get A Flu Shot

It is not too late, even though it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to become effective. People who get flu shots have milder cases if they do contract influenza. New strains in this year’s vaccine could make their appearance over the next several months.

Try To Negotiate Working From Home

If your company is flexible about working remotely, work-from-home days may be the best solution when co-workers are coming to work sick. As a selling point, remind your boss that you will be more valuable to the company working from home than you would be if ill at home.

Wipe Down Surfaces In Communal Spaces

Using simple disinfectant wipes on doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, toilet seats, and any surface or object shared with co-workers can help minimize exposure to viruses and germs. Bring your own coffee mug from home and don’t share pens and other items with co-workers.

Find An Alternate Work Space

If a coworker is sneezing and coughing near you, it may be prudent to move to another desk or a conference room that is not in use. Removing yourself from the vicinity of the germs can make it easier to work in peace.

Avoid Touching Your Face

The easiest way to transmit germs and viruses from your hands or surfaces is to touch your face, particularly the mouth and eyes. This gives germs a direct introduction that can lead to colds, cases of flu, and other illnesses.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Hand washing is one of the best ways to help avoid infection. Make sure you wash correctly and for long enough. It might be a good idea to keep hand sanitizer at your desk for times when you are unable to wash your hands.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, which is your main defense against colds and flu. Getting eight hours, or whatever you need for a good night’s sleep, can increase your energy and help your body defend itself.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is another way to boost your immune system. It can also help you lose weight, which may be key to resisting colds and flu. Studies have shown that overweight people are more susceptible to injury and illness.

How Good Is Your Health Insurance?

If your co-workers come to work sick and share what they have with you, it is important to get the care you need, when you need it. The right health insurance coverage can make all the difference when you have the flu or a respiratory infection. Speak with our friendly agent about your health plan and all your insurance needs.