Flu season is here. We’re seeing the sniffles and sneezes that come with a change in the weather in many workplaces across the country. Having an outbreak of the seasonal flu in your office isn’t only miserable for those suffering with it, it can also impact your business’ bottom line. Lost productivity and an increased cost of sick leave will hit profit margins.
While there’s no completely foolproof way to prevent the flu, there are some proactive steps you can take to minimize the impact of this disease on your business. OSHA offers some common sense tips for keeping your workers well during the flu season.
- Encourage your workers to get vaccinated. Many insurance plans provide free or reduced flu shots. If yours is one of these, that makes the pitch that much easier.
- Ask sick workers to stay home. The CDC recommends that people with respiratory issues and fever stay home for 24 hours after their fever ends. This reduces the risk of their passing an illness like the flu to a coworker. Make it easy for sick employees to make the right decision to stay at home by offering paid sick leave.
- Push strong hygiene habits at work. A strong emphasis on hand washing can help reduce the spread of the flu. The CDC has a handy printable information sheet on this topic you can display at the office. Ditto with cough etiquette. Coughs and sneezes still spread diseases. Help get the word out at the office with this printable information sheet on how to sneeze without spreading diseases.
- Clean the office regularly. According to the CDC, the flu can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. Disinfecting commonly used items like doorknobs, kitchen areas, or printers/copiers can have a big impact on preventing the spread of the flu.
As the seasonal flu starts to make it’s rounds, taking smart steps can keep you and your workers healthy and productive while at work.