Follow these preventive steps to stay protected round the clock.
1) For Personal Hygiene
It is good to maintain personal hygiene, all the time, whether you are at home or at work. It’s most important to wash your hands frequently using soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser, such as those available from Lifebuoy. This is especially recommended before or after eating or after using the bathroom. Wash your hands after every commute as well.
Every time you cough or sneeze, it is good hygiene to cover your mouth with a tissue (don’t forget to discard it immediately after use) or your elbow (if a tissue is not available at the time). Also, having good air flow in shared spaces like office cabins or meeting rooms and bathrooms helps. You can do this by keeping the windows open or by using the air conditioner.
2) For Different Surfaces
Germs can travel up to 3 feet after a sneeze, spreading unwanted infections, and rest on different surfaces around the home. Some surfaces in your office are frequently touched by everyone throughout the day. These high-touch surfaces include switches, door handles, tables, taps, cabinet handles, toilet seats, flush handles, phones, keyboards, etc. These also include car door handles or steering wheels and bus or train handles.
Make sure you always wash your hands thoroughly after touching these surfaces. Ideally, surfaces at work should be cleaned and disinfected regularly by your office staff to prevent germ buildup.
A regular household detergent and water can be used to clean these surfaces. You can check if the office is doing this daily. After the surfaces are clean, one also needs to disinfect them using a suitable disinfectant, like a bleach-based (sodium hypochlorite) product such as Domex Floor Cleaner, which kills germs. Always test on a small hidden area and rinse to check compatibility first.
3) For Your Laundry
Not just surfaces, even clothes can retain germs. One of the simplest ways to remove germs from your clothes is to wash them thoroughly. Washing clothes well with detergent is good enough. You can use a bleach (sodium hypochlorite) like Rin Ala for your work clothes. Rin Ala being sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended for white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes. If you decide to use bleach, don’t forget to wear gloves before using it.
If using a washing machine, wash your workwear using the appropriate water temperature setting, in accordance with the directions on labels of laundry or clothing items. Ensure that the clothes are dried in the sun.
4) For Your Personal Items
It is a good idea for everyone at work to use separate plates, bowls and cutlery. Make sure you carry your own tea or coffee mug and water bottle. Just make sure that all these items are washed thoroughly with soap and water after each use. Using disposable and eco-friendly plates, cups and spoons is also a good idea.
These simple steps, if followed daily, can go a long way in keeping you safe from germs at work.