South Africa reported its first case of the Coronavirus last week sending the nation into a panic. Hand sanitisers have flown of the shelf and masks are becoming impossible to find.
The announcement has not just caused panic but has also seen employers under pressure with the effect the scare of the virus will have on its employees.
But even before the Coronavirus, we are familiar with poor office hygiene that is practised when someone has a cold or flu.
From holding crumpled up tissues while making copies of documents to blowing their noses at the water cooler, when we are fluish we don’t execute the necessary precautions to prevent the germs from spreading to others.
With that being said by demanding people wash their hands more often is absolutely astonishing as this should be happening already. As an adult would you eat before washing your hands?
If you don’t and forget then that is unacceptable. It should not take a deadly virus to have to remind us of basic hygiene. That being said below are a few do’s and don’t in the office space to minimise the risk of spreading germs in general but to also ensure we take caution and adhere to the prevention steps of the Coronavirus.
- Start by making it a ritual to wash your hands. Before you touch your lunch bag, before you pop something into your mouth or even apply lip balm, ensure you wash your hands.
- If you have flu symptoms go to the doctor. This is an extremely important point. This should be a must. Be it a cough, fever or a sneeze go tot the doctor. There is no point exhausting yourself at work when you will not be productive.
- If you are able to work from home perhaps pitch this to your manager to reduce the risk of getting the strain of viruses in the air.
- If you use public transport to get to work use a mask during these trips. If you have flu symptoms while using public transport practise hygiene when coughing and sneezing.
As much the coronavirus is transmitted from someone who is tested positive, these tips are a general go to when dealing with hygiene in the work place. We should speak to our companies with regards to a plan of action should we be exposed to a quarantine.
In the meantime, let us keep washing our hands and practise great hygiene.
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute. ICHAF offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.