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We all have our pet peeves. I personally have a lot of them, some may be irrational. Mainly, I cannot STAND loud chewers – one of my worst nightmares is the thought of being stuck next to somebody popping and snapping a huge, sticky wad of chewing gum and having nowhere to run.

Workplace annoyances can be the worst kind, because we’re subjected to them for so much of our week.


One of the more common workplace annoyances is dealing with the office martyrs who come into work when they’re deathly ill. Coughing, sneezing and sniffling all day long. If you’re unlucky enough to have a seat in close proximity to this under-the-weather individual, you’re probably wishing you brought a surgical mask to work.

sick at work tips to avoid workplace annoyances

As a peer, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about this. After all, it’s your company’s culture, your boss’s call and your co-workers’ choice whether they think they’re well enough to come in and be productive at work. Some people really just don’t want to take the time off and would rather save up their vacation days for actual vacations, and not use them for sick days (you know, lying half-dead on the couch watching Jerry Springer with a box of tissues on your lap and a cup of tea glued to your hand).

Some companies don’t have a culture that focuses on employee wellness….yet. Working from home can have its pitfalls, but it can be a productive and smart way to keep everyone healthy. 70% of lost productivity costs due to employee wellness challenges come through absenteeism, overtime, turnover, temp staffing, administration, replacement training and customer dissatisfaction.

Tips To Avoid Workplace Sickness

We have a couple suggestions to help remedy the situation without making it into too much of a problem. First off, use your basic knowledge of preventing the spread of sickness. Most people know that washing your hands with soap and water regularly can largely help prevent illness and infection. What you may not know is that friction is the most important part of washing your hands. So, scrub away! You might want to keep a bottle of anti-bacterial gel on your desk for backup, as well.

You might also want to mention something to your boss if this really becomes a trend. If you actually do start getting sick from exposure to your ill coworkers, odds are that others in the office are coming down with sicknesses as well. It’s a little awkward to confront coworkers about considering the option of staying home when they’re sick (especially since you’re not their mother). Saying something to your boss could ease the uncomfortable conversation – it could be as simple as asking if they would mind sending out an e-mail to let everybody know that it’s suggested to stay home if you’re sick. That might be the extra nudge needed for the afflicted to realize they should probably head home. That may also be the nudge that you boss needs to realize that he or she is the best source to influence change and the company culture may not be clearly dedicate to employee wellness.

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Do you have any other tips for dealing with sick co-workers? Does your company have ways to support you and your team through the cold season? Share them with us!

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