Why is it Best to Stay Home When You Are Sick?
We all cringe when see a colleague walk in the office coughing and sneezing. It is best for people to stay home when they are sick, but some people insist on showing up for work anyway. Studies have shown that germs can spread very rapidly in an office setting.
There was a study done by a group of scientists at the University of Arizona. The study found that the when one infected person comes to work, over half of the things that are commonly touched in the office will have a virus by the time the other employees take their lunch break. Doorknobs, photocopiers, tabletops, desktops and telephones are examples of things that are germ-infested in offices.
How The Study Was Conducted?
The study involved 80 participants, and it was conducted in an office setting. The subjects did their normal activities, but some of the subjects received droplets of water on their hand. One subject received a droplet that contained artificial viruses that were similar to the stomach bug, flu and cold.
The researchers examined the commonly touched surfaces after four hours. They found that over half of the surfaces had been infected with one or more of the artificial viruses. Kelly Reynolds, who is an associate professor at University of Arizona, stated that she was very surprised at the results of the study. She did not believe that they would find as many viruses as they did.
The interesting thing about this study was that many of the employees worked in isolated cubicles. Many people are afraid to have someone cough or sneeze around them, but according to the results of this study, germs spread much quicker on surfaces.
The flu and cold germs had died by the time that the day was over, but the risk was still there. According to Reynolds, all it takes is a little bit of exposure to the germs that cause the cold or flu to get sick. The researchers believed that the employees had between 40 and 90 percent of a chance of being infected with either the flu virus, stomach bug virus or cold virus.
How This Problem Can Be Prevented?
The results of the study may sound alarming, but the good news is that there are things that can be done to prevent the spread of germs. People who are sick need to stay out until they are feeling better. Resume review and other activities can wait until the person is able to come back to work. Employees also need to make sure that frequently-touched surfaces are sanitized on a regular basis. Furthermore, everyone in the office should wash their hands regularly.
John Mitchell is currently working for a company that offers professionals a resume review. He enjoys blogging about business topics and how to create a great office environment.