Staying Healthy in an Open Office with The Following Tips

Do you work in an open office environment? If so, you might have to work a little harder to stay healthy. Here are eight tips for staying healthy in an open office:

1. Keep your distance.
When someone coughs or sneezes, the germs can travel quite far from the nose and mouth. Keep your distance from co-workers who exhibit signs of illness to avoid exposure to virus-laden droplets.

2. Wash your hands.
Be sure to use a good soap for about 15 seconds before rinsing and drying your hands thoroughly. Bacteria and viruses thrive in damp environments, so drying is a key part of good hand-washing technique. You also can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

3. Wipe stuff down.
Disinfect commonly shared work devices (like telephones) by wiping them down with disinfectant towlettes. Keep a canister of wipes at your desk and in shared spaces. And don’t waste money on high-tech furniture coated with silver ions.

4. Nurture the immune system.
Stress, poor diet and a lack of exercise can weaken the immune system, so take steps to maintain the body’s natural defense system. Eat nutritious foods, exercise three to four times a week and obtain plenty of rest so the immune system can recharge.

5. Find some alone time.
Studies have found that some privacy at work can boost job performance and satisfaction. Lack of privacy and control over the environment, on the other hand, can lead to elevated job stress, which can compromise the immune system.

6. Tune out the noise.
Noise is among the biggest issues for people who work in open office environments, but it constitutes more than just a nuisance. It can cause serious health problems. Lower the decibel level in the office by using noise-canceling headphones. If you find it soothing to listen to music, play relaxing music designed for meditation or stress reduction.

7. Treat colds immediately.
If you treat your colds aggressively, you may recover faster and avoid passing the virus to a co-worker. Some remedies may even reduce the duration of a cold and lessen the severity of symptoms.

8. Change the work environment.
If it’s impossible to have privacy in the open office, try to work remotely on occasion. Take a laptop to a cafe to work, or working from home one day a week. If that’s not possible, schedule meetings off-site.

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