What other mistakes do workers make that can spread the flu bug (and other airborne diseases) around the workplace? Staples covers that in the survey, too:
- 51% of employees clean their desks once a week or less, even though germs can live on surfaces for up to three days, especially on the keyboard – typically one of the dirtiest personal workspace items.
- 25% believe doorknobs and handles are the dirtiest places in the office, while only 6% recognize that the break room sink is actually the dirtiest, followed by the office microwave, which only 8% selected.
- 65% feel the number of days necessary to be out of the office with the flu is one to three days and often return to work contagious; the flu virus may be contagious for one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after someone feels sick.
The survey confirms that employees would rather show up at work with the flu than be seen as slackers by management. But the survey also shows that sick workers are only about 50% effective, anyway.
Maybe that leads to the best flu prevention care next to getting a vaccination: If you’re sick, don’t go to work, or at least ask to work from home until you’re well again.
Your body will thank you for it, and so will your co-workers.