This brutal flu season has led office workers everywhere to get creative with preventative practices they hope will safeguard them from the armadas of germs invading their spaces. 

While it's understandable why anyone would go to extremes to avoid a nasty virus, some of these tactics are borderline rude and others are just plain absurd.

For example, any time one of Julie Brufke Wenger's 14 employees is sick, her or she gets quarantined in the filing room, The Wall Street Journal reported in a recent article. (In her defense, Wenger, who runs an accounting firm, says she simply can't afford a flu outbreak during tax season.)

If you're looking for more tactful ways to interact with your colleagues during this time of year when viruses will inevitably spread, consider a few of these tips:

Be sympathetic.

Keep in mind that if a colleague shows up to work sick, she already feels awful. Refrain from blurting out something like, "I saw you just cough into your hand and it's gross," Anna Post, an author with the Emily Post Institute, a business etiquette firm told the WSJ.

Instead, go with, "Excuse me for not shaking hands. It's nice to see you," Post recommended.

Make a pact.

Get everyone on board with some basic rules. For example, after two members from the same team at AllProWebTools, creator of a work management system, were out sick, that group set some guidelines: if anyone needed to cough or blow their noses, they'd go out into the hallway to do it.

Just go home. 

If you're the one who's sick, the best way to ease everyone's paranoia is for you to stay away.

However, you might not have a choice. According to a survey by public health and safety organization NSF International, most Americans are very straightforward and 57 percent would tell a sick colleague to go home if they thought she was too ill to be there.

Published on: Jan 29, 2015