Office jobs are a fact of life sometimes. Working in close spaces, spending time together in conference rooms and dealing with the sounds of coughs and sniffles can all seem unavoidable, especially this time of year when everyone seems to be coming down with something.

Here’s a few tips to keep your immune system strong so you can stay healthy and alert all winter long.

  1. Keep your desk clean

    Germs and bacteria can accumulate easily on everything we touch, and we spend a lot of time each day touching the things on our desk. Your computer, keyboard and mouse are probably covered in more than you want to think about. Use our cleaning routine tips to keep your workspace sanitary and tidy.

  2. Wash your hands

    Obviously, you should be washing your hands all the time. During cold and flu season, though, hand washing is even more crucial. Make it a point to really wash your hands with a clean, natural soap. Avoid hand sanitizers. “Antibacterial” products are unnecessary and potentially toxic.

  3. Go outside

    Some fresh air, even if it’s a bit brisk, will do you good. It’s an old wive’s tale that cold weather makes you sick. In fact, spending time in a stuffy office could be even more detrimental to your health. Good outdoor ventilation will strengthen your lungs, and clear your mind.

  4. Encourage your coworkers to stay home

    Though not all offices have generous sick leave policies, if you have employees of your own it’s important to let them know they should stay home if they’re sick or if they have a contagious and sick kid. Just taking one day to rest can do wonders for a body, rather than pushing yourself to continue getting work done at the office and potentially spreading a virus to many others.

  5. Get your precious zzz’s

    As always, sleep is the key to optimal health. During these tougher months on the immune system, try to get 30-60 more minutes of rest each night. Your body will thank you with months of health and happiness.