Don't want to get sick until Christmas is over? The countdown starts now!

Well, are you sitting in the office and hear one of your colleagues coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose every other second?

 

Slowly but surely it starts again: the wet and cold pre-Christmas season, when we almost all have to deal with respiratory infections & more.

 

But there is hope that you may be spared this year … because you have taken our advice. You are only a short distance away from important tips, tricks and products with which you can reduce unwanted viruses, bacteria. in the office. Believe us, so much can be achieved with a few small simple changes. You only have to be consistent – and that’s where we’ll be happy to help you.

 

So start the “KAISER+KRAFT Xmas Challenge” with us: no coughing, cold and sneezing until Christmas is over!

 

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Facts & Figures

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… per hour an adult person reaches into his face on average.

… on average, more bacteria are found on a computer keyboard than in a public toilet.

… of all infections are transmitted via the hands – especially colds and flu.

… of all surfaces are infected with pathogens until lunchtime by one single colleague who comes to work sick.

Researchers from the University of Tucson, Arizona (USA) have contaminated the entrance door of an office building for a study. They placed a virus at the door handle that does not infect humans but is very similar in shape, size and survivability to the cold and stomach flu virus. In just two hours, the virus had contaminated the coffee machine in the break room, the microwave, the fridge door handle, the toilets and finally the offices – the office became a real “bioweapon”. After four hours, the virus was found on more than 50% of the frequently touched surfaces and on the hands of half of the 80 employees. The researchers calculated a 30% risk of infection for the employees.

Your responsibility

  • As an employer, you are obliged to ensure a clean working environment and to provide, for example, hand soap and disinfectants.
  • In addition to this, you should provide workers with easily accessible and understandable information on hygiene standards. Posters, stickers, e-mails etc. are possible measures you could take.
  • Employees are obliged to comply with the company’s hygiene regulations. To encourage them to comply with hygiene standards, it is important to explain to them the necessity of the guidelines.

The worst germ spreaders

Phone
HANDSET

Because hardly anyone remembers to clean telephone handsets from time to time.

Tea
Mugs

Pathogens feel particularly at home in tea residues and saliva.

Fridge handles

Fridge handles are touched by all staff throughout the day – sharing the germs throughout the day too

Buttons & Switches

Whether it’s the elevator button or the start button on the printer: buttons and switches are always germ traps.

Keyboards

Regularly wipe firmly over it and clean it thoroughly from time to time is the top priority for keyboards.

Computer mouse

The same applies here as for phone handsets. Be honest, when was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your computer mouse?

Door
handles

Where many hands regularly reach out, lots of bacteria also regularly feel at home.

Public transport

To help reduce the spread of germs Employees arriving by public transport should wash their hands before work.

Washing hands correctly

Five small steps with a big effect: If you follow the following rules every time you wash your hands, you are already doing a great deal to prevent possible pathogens from spreading in your office.

 

Easily download our infographic “5 steps of handwashing” as a PDF document, forward it to your colleagues or hang it on the toilet doors of your company as a little “hygiene reminder”.

Good air circulation

  • Air our your offices several times a day for a few minutes with windows or doors wide open. This reduces the number of pathogens in the air and thus reduces the risk of infection.

  • In addition, regular ventilation increases the air humidity in the office, which is usually very low in winter due to turned up radiators. This can effectively prevent the transmission of pathogens.
  • High humidity helps to neutralise flu viruses. Until now it was only assumed that the mucous membranes dry out more quickly in dry air and that viruses can therefore settle more easily. But now it is clear: regular ventilation is good every two ways.

Best practice for coughing & sneezing

To put one’s hands in front of one’s mouth when coughing and sneezing is seen as well mannered, but in reality, it is quite unhealthy. At least for your fellow colleagues. Because every time you cough or sneeze, a large number of germs from your body get onto your hand – and as you have already learned, hands are the biggest spreader of diseases. So it is better to cough or sneeze into your sleeve or handkerchief to keep your hands as clean as possible.

If possible, always try to distance yourself as far as possible from your fellow human beings when coughing or sneezing and to turn away. Fortunately, most people do this automatically anyway …

Important: To be on the safe side, always wash your hands afterwards. Always!

Tips to reduce reducing presenteeism

Many employees come to work sick because there is a lot to do and they do not want to give the impression of being "lazy". According to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 83% of respondents had seen a colleague turn up to work when sick. In psychology, this phenomenon is referred to as "presenteeism".
In some organisations, employees who come to work when sick are viewed as dedicated & loyal, and it’s held as the norm that team leaders soldier through illness to get the job done. Feeling real or imagined pressure to come to work when ill reduces employee morale and output. Make it clear that your company expects sick employees to stay home and get better.
Punitive sick leave policies, especially, can do more harm than good as they may discourage employees from taking leave when they need to, leading to situations where absenteeism is simply substituted with presenteeism. Ensure that your line managers understand the relationship between absenteeism and presenteeism, that they’re supported to adopt a more flexible approach to absence, and that they provide support to employees making a return to work after a period of illness.
High workload demands can cause employees to avoid taking time off when they need it because they’re worried about deadlines or overburdening co-workers in their absence. It’s crucial your managers are aware of organisational and managerial causes of work-related stress and ill health and have the soft skills to promote positive working practice.
Employees with health problems, especially mental-health related ones, often feel unable to disclose them to their manager. Managers need to be trained to support them effectively if or when they do. Workplace training and awareness raising of common mental and physical health issues will help reduce stigma and provide people with a better understanding of workplace wellbeing.
A strategic policy that takes account of social, physical, mental and financial stressors and offers appropriate support will go a long way towards reducing the impact of presenteeism. Programmes promoting exercise, counselling or financial management can help prevent illnesses and reduce the impact of long-term conditions, while access to consultations for common conditions like sleep disorders and allergies can have a huge impact on people’s productivity.

Discover our recommended products for optimal hygiene in your office.

Information sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/maintain-employee-wellbeing-reduce-absence/

http://www.business-on.de/arbeitsplatz-bakterien-und-viren-im-buero-vermeiden-_id53837.html

https://www.weser-kurier.de/deutschland-welt/deutschland-welt-wirtschaft_artikel,-bakterien-und-viren-im-buero-entfliehen-_arid,1768706.html

https://www.bueromoebel-experte.de/ratgeber/buero-alltag/keimfallen-im-buero-hier-kann-man-sich-anstecken/

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/wissen/von-der-tuerklinke-bis-in-den-mund-viren-besiedeln-bueros-binnen-stunden/10670998.html

https://web.de/magazine/gesundheit/schutz-viren-bakterien-schuetzen-buero-erkaeltungen-grippe-33134256

https://t3n.de/news/viren-im-buero-569681/

https://www.robertsoncooper.com/blog/five-ways-to-reduce-presenteeism-in-the-workplace/