4. Appoint a sanitation ambassador. No, the workplace isn't a battlefield. Asking a supervisor or co-worker to implement a regimented cleaning schedule for your office might seem overly militaristic, but Herman says it can really prove beneficial in the long run. According to him, employees usually wash their dishes and wipe down their break table after they eat, but they rarely think about all the other places they touch—like the water fountain or coffee machine. An enforced cleaning schedule can make employees more mindful of bad hygiene habits. "For instance, things like the sink handles, the microwave handles, and the keyboards need to be wiped down with disinfecting wipes," he says. "There should be a schedule that says this should be done at least once or maybe twice a day—perhaps at the beginning and at the end. And it should be somebody's assignment to make sure it actually gets done."
5. Eat away from your desk. Whether you decide to picnic on an outside bench or dine in the office break room, eating away from your desk can significantly reduce the amount of germs that populate the crevices of your keyboard. If you must work through lunch, try disinfecting your keyboard and other areas of your desk soon after you finish eating. Those bread crumbs and bits of lettuce that fall onto your keyboard tray might seem insignificant, but they can really build up, eventually morphing into dirt and grime. Besides, who knows what critters lurk under your desk in the wee hours of the night?
6. Don't go to work if you're sick. Feel a scratchy throat coming on? Temperature running a little higher than usual? These could be early signs of a common cold or worse. Consider working from home that day or not working at all. Herman says employers should be sympathetic to employees who opt to stay out of the office when feeling under the weather. "Instead of being upset with the worker for not coming in because they're sick, they should probably be more upset if they come to work sick and make five other co-workers sick," he says. "There are probably going to be more absentees from that than just the one person staying out and keeping the workplace healthy." While coming to work ill might seem like a viable option (especially if you have a major deadline looming), doing so could lower the productivity of your peers.