7 Tips to Avoid Germs at the Workplace

Did you know?

  • A keyboard has 60 times more germs than a toilet.
  • Cold and flu germs from a sneeze can stay on a surface for 48 hours.
  • Light switches get up to 217 bacteria per square inch.

Gross, isn’t it? Here are seven tips for staying germ-free in the workplace or the classroom!

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Wash Your Hands!

Sounds simple right? But a lot of us only think to wash our hands after using the bathroom. Well, get that out of your head! In addition to washing your hands after using the bathroom you should wash them before you eat, after using communal objects (staples, the fax machines, etc), and after sneezing or coughing.

No Sink? Sanitize!

I know it sounds crazy to go to the bathroom every time you want a snack or need to use a scissors. What’s a simple solution? Use hand sanitizer! You can get a bottle of it at Wal-Mart or Walgreens for a bargain. Bath and Body Works also has mini sanitizers that can go on your keys. I have one and my coworkers were very thankful for it after our team-building exercises a few weeks ago!

Avoid Sharing

Your grade-school teachers are going to get upset with me for this one. We have always been told that sharing is caring. But when it comes to cold and flu season sharing is your worst enemy! Some things you should avoid sharing with friends or coworkers include: food, drinks, pencils, pens, or your phone. Have some extra pencils and pens around in your office for others to use if you NEED to share.

Avoid Germ Areas

A simple way to avoid germs is staying away from their hangout spots! Whenever possible, avoid directly touching door handles, sink handles, water fountains, and toilet seats. Use paper towel to open bathroom doors and turning on sinks whenever possible. Some restrooms provide deposable covers for toilet seats, but you can always use toilet paper to line the seat.  Also bring your own water bottle to avoid placing your mouth on water fountains.

Strengthen Your Immune System

In order to stay healthy you have to take care of your immune system. That means eating healthy, getting quality sleep, taking plenty of vitamins, and exercising on a regular basis. Vitamins C and D are good vitamins to start with (as well as a multivitamin). Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, make sleep your friend, and be active for at least 30 minutes a day.

Look But Don’t Touch!

One of the best ways to stay germ free is keeping your hands to yourself! While you’re at it, keep your hands off of yourself as well. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible. This means don’t pick at your teeth, no resting your head on your fist, and no rubbing of your eyes or nose. And to be safe, always sanitize.

Wipe It Down

It’s always smart to have some sanitary wipes on hand. Wipe down surfaces such as your phone, chair, computer mouse, keyboard, door handle, and communal objects. You would be surprised by how many germ covered things we touch on a daily basis. Yuck!

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If you want more tips on how to stay germ-free or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Photos by Heather Schwartz.

A New Semester Means a New You!

Let’s face it, being a college student is hard! It’s all about balancing classes, extra-curricular activities, meeting new people, and everything in between. Then try to incorporate exercise, regulating stress, or worrying about health and wellness. Who can possibly do all of that? Here’s the good news – you can!

Career & Leadership Development knows the importance of self-image, confidence, and living well. Each week I will be posting ways you can take the awesome person you already are, and help you reach your utmost level!

Here is a list of some things you can expect to see this semester:

  • How to dodge germs in the office and classroom
  • Healthy eating on a college budget
  • Balancing college and work life
  • Office and dorm workouts
  • Ways to stay on task and get tasks done
  • Ways to create a positive self-image
  • How to step out of your comfort zone
  • Ways to de-stress

And the list goes on! Keep an eye out for our health and wellness tips and get ready for a whole-new you!

If there are more things you want learn more about or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Happy new semester Warhawks, let’s make it count!

6 Tips to Network Like a Pro!

So you finally gathered up the courage to go to a networking event (good for you!). What seems like hours have passed, and you’re still standing between the table of smelly cheese and the table of overly sweet and sour drinks. Well time to buck up and start selling yourself!

Nowadays, life is a constant opportunity to get you closer to success through conversation. And it’s not about being seen: we need to go deeper, engage people in conversation and allow them to connect with us. A true conversationalist knows the key to meeting people, befriending them, teaching them, persuading them, and inspiring them.

Unfortunately, we are not all born conversationalists. Some people say they fear public speaking and networking more than death! But there are some very simple ways to start conversations at these events and promoting your own personal brand.

Here are some tips to get you started!

  • Smile. The easiest way to have people approach you is to make them feel welcome and comfortable. A simple smile can be a friendly way to invite someone over to start a conversation. Remember, you need to make people WANT to interact with you! No one wants a Grumpy Gus on their hands.
  • Ask Questions. Seems obvious right? Well a lot of the time when people are interviewing or talking about a job opportunity they do a lot of listening to information, instead of asking for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Employers and those you are interacting with with appreciate your curiosity and ability to start conversation.
  • Know Your Audience. Prior to the event find out who will all be attending. Do your research and see what these people are all about. Yes, I mean pull out Google and type these people in! You will have a lot more confidence approaching people and holding a conversation if you know a little something about who you’re talking to.
  • Read Them Like a Book. Try to figure out what the person’s motivations are. If you pay attention to body language and facial expressions it is easy to see if this person is “all business” or not.
  • Sell What You Know. You know yourself better than anyone. That gives you a lot to talk about and sell. So don’t try and impress these people about your knowledge of 401k plans when just yesterday you thought a 401K was the world’s longest marathon.
  • Let Loose! It’s hard to not feel uptight in your shirt and tie or blazer and skirt; but don’t forget the person underneath those stuffy clothes! Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and stray away from serious work-talk a little bit. For example, you might notice the employer has a Green Bay Packers logo on their portfolio. Ask them if they saw the game last night. “Yeah, maybe we should both leave here and go apply to be referees!” It’s okay to joke around and show some personality!

You’ve got the tools and tips. Now get out there and network, network, network!

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Photo by Heather Schwartz