“Cue the shark-attack sounds” — there’s your coworker coming into the office..sneezing, coughing, and spreading their germs around every possible working surface.
Yep… we’ve all been there. It’s hard to know what to do about it, right? It’s like you don’t want to stir up trouble by complaining, but you don’t want to take a chance on getting sick yourself either.
Well — here are three things you can try, to make the situation better.
- Don’t Panic
It’s easy to overreact when you see that someone has a possible infection. But before you lose your cool, consider the following…
- Adults are contagious for a much shorter time than children.
- Being ill isn’t the same as being contagious. You’re contagious before the symptoms arrive, and the symptoms continue after you’re no longer contagious.
- The fact that you pick up germs doesn’t necessarily mean “you” will get sick. If you have a strong immune system, you may be just fine.
- Everyone spreads germs. You yourself may be a carrier and spread germs without ever getting sick.
- Speak Up
- The hardest part of being around a sick coworker may just be knowing what to say. If you’re diplomatic, though, maybe you can get your point across without causing too much trouble.
- Ask the co-worker if there’s a reason they can’t go home and rest. You may help them feel better about taking time off. Even if they give you an air-tight rationale for staying, at least you’ll understand and feel less irritated by it.
- Ask your manager if there’s anything they can do to convince your coworker to go home, or to allow them to work from home.
If all else fails and you’re still concerned for your health, maybe it’s time to contact your Human Resources Dept.
- Avoid the Germs
- Whether your co-worker stays at work or not, you need to deal with the germs they’ve spread. Here are some tips to avoid the contagion.
- Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and use it often.
- Avoid touching any paperwork they’ve handled if you can avoid it.
- Rinse out your coffee cup often.
- Avoid using the office kitchen as much as possible.
- If you have the option to work from home, do it.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Keep your workplace clean.
We hope that helps. If you still end up getting sick, please let us know — we’ll try our best to cheer you up 🙂