Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , ,| By
It seems fitting that employee annual benefits renewal happens just as the flu season ramps up. I’d sit the break room fielding employee healthcare questions while my employees would cough, sniffle and hold back their sneezes just long enough to make their benefit changes. That first year in HR I came down with a serious case of Strep Throat just after annual employee benefit enrollment period wrapped up. I was in bed miserable for what seemed like a week. My throat was on fire and it was after that experience that I began providing employees with a flu prevention kit as part of annual enrollment. Employees received hand sanitizer, tissues, cough drops and a copy of the workplace call in policy. Looking back I should have one a medical mask although I don’t think it really gives off the vibe of “we trust and care about our employees.”
Mobile Phones Are Dirtier Than Toilets
These days it’s our mobile phones that are the problem.Mobile phones are the second most dirty and germ filled item more so than a toilet. And yet you probably avoid handshaking someone at the office who tells you they have the flu but you bring your phone to the bathroom. A clean phone is a Godly phone. It’s our almost guarantee to a healthy and flu-free office come this fall and winter too.
This week while traveling to Dallas, I was blown away by the number of people who were talking on their phones in a public restroom. A whopping 75% of people admit bringing their phone with them into the bathroom. I’m included in this number as it’s always on my person. Personally, I believe the number is higher based on my experience this week. The number one dirtiest location in the bathroom toilet paper dispenser. Oddly enough this is the most popular place where people lay their phone while they attend to their business in the restroom.
Our mobile device is attached to ourselves at the hip sitting on germy surfaces, bouncing around our bags and purses and filled with fingerprint smudges. You might be surprised to know that Blackberry devices were the dirtiest pieces of mobile tech We just can’t leave those Crackberries alone. I’m sure those numbers are skewed because the only ones crazy enough to use a Blackberry these days are committed, highly engaged users of this tech. I remember those days when my Blackberry changed my life once I moved from the Razor flip phone.
Yes, mobile phones are dirtier than toilets. They, like our hands are the spreader of germs and the conduits of the workplace flu. Your mobile phone stores a record of our personal contacts — people we touch — where by your call or text log or through the in person activities and travels of your phone. Your mobile phone has the biggest impact of flu in your workplace more so than adding an employee handwashing sign or sending out the flu prevention email memo. I’m on team flu prevention after having spent last week with a sick child. I spent the weekend sanitizing most of my house slathered in alcohol based sanitizer gel.
I never thought about my cell phone, or my daughter’s iPad or any of our other mobile devices to keep our family, friends and work colleagues from getting the flu.
Mobile with Flu Prevention Solutions
In my frantic research for solutions to flu prevention I came upon a number of solutions that we should be considering outside of that hand sanitizer to combat the workplace or travel flu that is descending upon us soon.
#1 – PhoneSoap: UV Cell Phone Sanitizer & Universal Charger 2.0.
The PhoneSoap Charger cleans and sanitizes your phone in less than five minutes while it charges, and it is the safest and most complete way to kill all the bacteria growing on your phone. Using UV light to safely get rid of bacteria, the PhoneSoap charger does not use heat, liquid or chemicals. PhoneSoap Charger is universal, and designed to fit even the largest smartphones. Click here to learn more.
#2 – PhoneSoap Polish
This antibacterial touch screen polish is specially formulated to kill bacteria and help prevent fingerprints and smudges on smartphone and tablet touch screens. The polish restores the coating, creating a surface that is smooth as the day you bought it and will help you wipe your phone clean faster and easier. The polish is all-natural, 100% non-toxic and its chemical-free antibacterial ingredients will NOT harm your phone’s screen. All you have to do is simply mark your screen using the solid stick formula with an “X”. Then, using the foam cap or your finger, rub in circular motions until evenly spread. Let it set for 1-minute and clean off using the accompanied micro-fiber cloth, lightly buffing away the residue. Click here to learn more.
#3 – PhoneSoap XL: Tablet UV Sanitizer and Universal Charger
Using 4 powerful UV-C bulbs, the PhoneSoap XL encompasses your tablet in germicidal light. In just 5 minutes, your device will be completely sanitized. With PhoneSoap XL, you can sanitize tablets, multiple phones, or any other objects that fit inside in just 5 minutes. Use it to sanitize your keys, your mouse, your Apple Watch. Additionally, you can make your sanitizing process part of your charging routine by using the built-in USB port. Even better is that this one raised over $63,000 on Kickstarter.
#4 – Wet Hand Sanitizer Wipes
Sometimes low tech is the best option. Although I am always looking for an outlet to plug in my phone. For now, I’m keeping my wet wipe hand sanitizers handy for my hands and my phone. As for your workplace, it might be a great idea to order some hand sanitizer wipes as swag of your workplace’s annual benefit enrollment program. It’s your best and most cost effective flu prevention strategy. Attention conference vendors, this might be the best new conference swag for you.
You might just thank me later when you and your team isn’t laid up in bed miserable, achy and unable to move. Your mobile phone is what keeps the world connected and working but it’s also what is making us sick. If you excuse me, I need to get back to that candy crush game that isn’t winning itself on my iPhone.