It’s Flu Season! A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way

A cough here, and a sniffle there. That’s the sound of Flu season. Influenza activity peaks between December and February, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means the risk of contracting the flu remains a concern well into the new year.

This year the Flu is in full force and rapidly increasing according to a new report by Orange County Public Health. Prevention is your first line of defense for keeping everyone healthy and productive all year round. So, what can you do about it? How can you take an active role in ensuring that you and your employees can stay healthy and productive?

Simple things you can do around the office:

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Staying as healthy as possible makes it easier for the body to fend off infections. Provide healthy snack options and bottled water to help replenish employees. Encourage everyone to get a good night’s sleep and drink plenty of fluids.

A Shot in the Arm

Encourage employees to get a flu shot. Check if your insurer offers any type of mobile vaccination clinic. Some medical providers will come out to businesses to provide flu shots for a fee. Or, send an email reminder to employees with a  flu vaccine finder link to find a location nearest them.

So Fresh & So Clean

Keep disinfectant sprays or wipes readily available. Frequently spray down door handles, break room surfaces, and anything else that many people touch all day. If employees share any tools, such as tablets or headsets, make sure you have the appropriate cleaners to disinfect these surfaces. Remind everyone to clean the shared equipment at the beginning of each shift change or when people trade tools. Keep hand sanitizers readily available in common areas.

Free social media tools provided by CDC can be used by the public to promote improved hygiene and how it can prevent the spread of germs.

The Hands Have It

Post signs in the break room and restroom reminding employees to wash their hands. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has several free printable posters to help raise awareness about hand washing here.

Cover your Cough

Stock up on tissues for employee workspaces. Keep tissues readily available in common areas. Encourage employees to prevent spreading germs with free ‘Cover your Cough’ posters and flyers from the CDC available here.

Keep Sick at Home

For businesses, a single flu-struck worker can have a domino effect. Allow employees to work from home if they’re feeling well enough to tackle assignments. Doing so reduces the stress of work piling up while they are out. At the same time, don’t require employees to work, even at home, if they truly need to rest.

Now is the perfect time to encourage healthy habits and avoid the challenges that come with a flu outbreak in the workplace. Promoting a healthy work environment is a win-win. It shows you care about the well-being of everyone and keeps the business rolling. Stay healthy, my friends!