Dealing with Coronavirus: 5 tips for workplace hygiene

By March 10, 2020Trending

Important information about workplace hygiene!

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways, and it’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. 

With more and more cases of the virus occurring each day, workplace hygiene could not be more crucial. We spend hours every day in the office, surrounded by our colleagues, so it is important to do what we can to help to prevent the spread of infection. 

So here are some handy tips on how to ensure your workplace hygiene is the best it can be. 


You would think that this would go without saying, but washing your hands regularly is so important to stop the spread of infection. And yes, there is a ‘proper’ way to do so. According to the Mayo Clinic, washing your hands effectively is a 5-step process:

Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
Apply soap and lather well.
Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds (or song Happy Birthday twice). Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
Rinse well.
Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.

workplace hygiene

Sneezing? Cover your mouth

Again, this seems like a no-brainer, but it is important to remind people. If you are sneezing or coughing at any stage throughout your working day (or at all, to be honest), do so into the crease of your elbow, not your hands. Back in 2018, Dr. Vincent Hill, chief of the waterborne disease prevention branch of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, spoke to the New York Times about the proper way to sneeze. 

“If somebody sneezes into their hands, that creates an opportunity for germs to be passed on to other people, or contaminate other objects that people touch,” he said.

workplace hygiene

Hand sanitiser

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a handy way to help prevent the spread of infection, as it is something you can carry around with you at all times. If you use a hand sanitiser, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol. 

Avoid close contact

Listen, as much as you may want to hug and high five your colleagues, now is not really the time to do so. Close contact can be a way to spread the illness, so try (where possible, of course) to avoid doing so.

The HSE has defined close contact as: “spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person.”

Flu like symptoms? Go home (and stay home!)

We know that most of the time we tend to work through a cough or the sniffles, but at the moment, that is simply not worth the risk.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear. If you have any of the symptoms and have been to a place where there is spread of coronavirus, please be responsible and self isolate.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:

A cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
A shortness of breath
Breathing difficulties
Fever (high temperature)

Just be smart about it, and ensure that your workplace hygiene is up to standard! 

And if you are working from home, be sure to check out this post from us here at Jobbio about how to avoid distraction.

Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

More posts by Rebecca O'Keeffe

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