To avoid germs, I'm pretty fanatical about washing my hands. I also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer next to my desk. Not only am I keeping germs away, I'm a better employee because of it! Alcohol-based hand sanitizers improve job productivity and reduce the number of days employees are out sick, says a new study. Researchers in Germany found that sick days dropped significantly in offices where hand sanitizer is available.
The study split up a group of 129 participants: one group stuck to their normal hand-washing routine, and the other used hand sanitizer at least five times a day. At the end of the year, the employees who used hand sanitizer reported fewer sick days than those in the control group. They also reported fewer cold and flu symptoms in general. And while job productivity of the two groups was not measured, the researchers deduce that fewer sick days and better health translates into better on-the-job performance. But don't think that this study means you can skip out on soap and water, since hand sanitizer won't kill all viruses, like norovirus or E. coli.