Did you know, 90% of office workers come to work when sick. Even worse, they know their coughing and sneezing may be infecting others, but 45% said an ever-growing workload makes it necessary.
"Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs," according to the CDC.
People can also catch the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. Studies have also shown that human influenza viruses can survive on surfaces between 2 and 8 hours.
All of this infection adds up to a significant economic cost as researchers cite direct costs due to lost productivity from colds at $25 billion in the U.S. Taking into consideration both indirect (lost productivity) and direct (doctor visits and medicine) costs, of colds, the figure in the U.S. annually is $40 billion. Flu prevention is actually very good for business.
What are some of germiest places in your office? Researchers swabbed some 4,800 surfaces in office buildings to find out. Here's a list of the top 6 places to avoid this flu season based on the study results.
Organizations can reduce the risk of spreading germs by providing adequate hand washing facilities and promoting the use of a hand sanitizer applied regularly to clean, dry hands to compliment routine hand washing. Studies show that good hand hygiene practices can reduce illness, absenteeism and associated costs by up to 50%.
So please, if you're not feeling well - call into work sick. It's better for everyone's health and your employers' bottom line!
About the Author
Patrick Boshell is the Marketing Director for Deb Canada and the managing editor for Deb Group's Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety blog.
He's been actively involved in the Canadian commercialization of several Deb innovations including Optidose InstantFOAM Hand Sanitizer for healthcare and GrittyFOAM Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner for manufacturing and industrial applications.
Patrick is an advocate for making hand hygiene contagious in the workplace. He is also a social media enthusiast, using tools such as LinkedIN and Twitter to help educate the importance of effective hand hygiene and skin care to a global audience. To connect with Patrick, please contact him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.