Keep Your Guard Up and the Risk of Office Illness Down

Keep Your Guard Up and the Risk of Office Illness Down

Tom Wojtkun


By Thom Wojtkun

National Account Director, Commercial Real Estate

While the traditional cold and flu season is drawing to a close, the workplace germs that lead to illness don’t always pay attention to the calendar. Even though spring nears, you’re still at risk of catching a cold – and what could be worse than coughing and sneezing away a wonderful spring day (or any day, for that matter)? The solution to keeping the doctor away is as simple – and more proven – than an apple a day.

Your Hands are Key

It’s straightforward – hand hygiene is one of the most important measures we can all take to reduce the spread of illness-causing germs. So make sure you wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day, particularly after using the restroom. If soap and water are not available – like when you’re crowded into a meeting room and just sneezed, or are about to eat lunch at your desk – use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Proven to Work

Hand sanitizer is proven effective in reducing the chance of illness. Consider this fact – in an outcome study conducted with more than 1,000 employees and for over a year1, workplace employees that had access to hand sanitizer throughout their offices, as part of a comprehensive hand hygiene program, demonstrated “significantly reduced actual health care claims for hand hygiene preventable infections (e.g., cold and influenza).” 

In fact, easy access to hand sanitizer led workers to 24 percent fewer healthcare claims (compared to those individuals that didn’t have the same access to hand sanitizer) for illnesses that can be transmitted via your hands. Consider too, that those with ready access to hand sanitizer – at your desk, at restroom exits, and in a building’s common areas – were absent 13 percent less than those without the same access to sanitizer.

Learn More

You can learn more at www.gojo.com/purelladvancedworkforce. The PURELL® products used in this study are easy to place throughout a workplace and demonstrated to work. Talk to your employer about implementing a hand hygiene program around your building. You and your colleagues will not only stay healthier, but will also feel better about those day-to-day interactions that make up your work day. And with spring on the horizon, you’ll be able to work – and play – without the adverse effects of illness.


1. Arbogast, JW., L. Moore-Schiltz, W. Jarvis, A. Harpster-Hagen, J. Hughes, A. Parker.  2016. “Impact of a Comprehensive Workplace Hand Hygiene Program on Employer Health Care Insurance Claims and Costs, Absenteeism, and Employee Perceptions and Practices.”  Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2016 – Volume 58, Issue 6.

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