Sniffling, coughing, hundred degree fevers…that’s right folks, flu season is upon us. But no need to worry: there are plenty of things your office can do to protect your employees (and yourselves) from catching the dreaded influenza. We’ve put together a list of 5 ways to prevent the flu from spreading at your office.
One of the easiest ways to prevent the flu–and its consequent spread throughout your workplace–is vaccination. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) cites vaccination as the number one prevention step. However, many employees simply don’t have the time to get vaccinated. Between work hours and out-of-office commitments, going to get a vaccine can be a major inconvenience.
So why not make it a little easier for your employees? Many organizations now host on-site vaccination clinics, allowing employees to get vaccinated without sacrificing their free time. You can contact your local pharmacy or community vaccinators to come to your workplace and administer the vaccines on site.
If having on-site vaccinations isn’t an option for you, do your best to make it easy for employees to get their flu shots elsewhere in the community.
It might sound simple, but maintaining basic hygiene practices is one of the most important steps to stop the spread of flu. Post or send around a guide of these Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggestions for preventing sickness:
If you don’t want the flu to spread, don’t let it into the office in the first place. Encourage your employees to use their sick days or work from home if they have the flu. Losing one employee for a day or two can save you from losing multiple employees for weeks.
If an employee absolutely has to come into work while sick, make sure they don’t sit in densely populated areas. You don’t need to go as far as establishing a quarantine, but keeping sick employees away from their desks can avoid passing the flu on to their coworkers.
When flu season hits, make sure your office has all the supplies needed to protect your employees. For example:
Roughly 5-20% of US residents get the flu each year–but this doesn’t have to include your employees. Taking the appropriate measures to prevent the flu in your office will keep your workforce healthy and productive.
This article was originally published on October 15th, 2015.