It strikes every year – flu season. And if you don’t take the necessary precautions early, you might end up with a skeleton crew this flu season.
The flu virus can spread quickly in office buildings, and it only takes one infected employee to trigger a major outbreak. Some of your employees might view the flu as nothing more than a bad cold. But the truth is, the flu virus can dramatically slow productivity throughout your office and impact your bottom line.
There are, however, steps you can take to keep your workplace flu-free this year.
Hire a Janitorial Service
A janitorial service will not only vacuum your floors, dust and remove trash from your office on a daily or weekly basis, they can disinfect your office reducing the likelihood of a flu outbreak.
Typical services include disinfecting bathrooms and kitchenettes, as well as surfaces, such as keyboards, elevator buttons, door knobs and light switches.
The flu virus can live on surfaces for days, but with the help of a janitorial service, you can keep your office tidy and reduce the number of surface germs.
Install Hand Sanitizing Machines Throughout the Office
These sanitizing wall units are relatively inexpensive; and with them in plain sight, your employees are more likely to sanitize their hands upon entering the office and at different times throughout the day.
If you don’t want the hassle of installing wall units, you can provide sanitizing gel for each desk in the office.
Reward Employees Who Receive a Flu Shot
The flu vaccine offers 70% to 90% protection against the virus, according to the CDC. Therefore, encouraging all employees to get an annual flu vaccine is one way to keep your office safe.
Unfortunately, you can’t make any of your employees get a vaccine. You can, however, reward those who comply with your request. Perhaps a paid day off on the day they receive their shot, or maybe a gift card or free lunch.
Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home
We all have bills to pay, and financial responsibilities might cause some of your employees to come to work while sick.
Understandably, employees can’t stay home for every sniffle or sore throat. But if your employees suspect the flu, ask that they stay home until symptoms improve. You can set a good example by staying away from the office when you’re sick.
Flu symptoms differ from the common cold and usually include body aches, a fever and fatigue.
Offer Flu-Prevention Tips During Staff Meetings
This is the workplace, not elementary school. Therefore, you might be reluctant to provide your staff with instructions on how to prevent the flu virus. However, if you want to keep your workplace flu-free this season, you need to put aside your reservations and offer helpful tips during staff meetings.
For example, you might suggest that employees maintain a distance of at least 3 feet, which helps reduce the spread of viruses. Additionally, you can stress the importance of frequent hand washing, as well as coughing and sneezing into their sleeves to avoid contaminating their hands.
At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to keep the office safe for all. Take the above precautions and you might be able to stop the flu virus in its tracks.