It is flu season again! Across the globe, you can already hear the sound of adults sniffling and bosses groaning. This time of the year is never truly predictable, but loss of productivity and workdays are staples with the flu.
During the flu season, viruses spread incredibly easy in tight spaces, including workplaces and offices. Unfortunately, these small disease-causing particles lead to big consequences for businesses. Workplace outbreaks lead to employee absenteeism. With more people succumbing to flu viruses, you have less people working on your company’s bottom line. In a small business or satellite office, just a few missing workers can spell out a disaster for the entire operations.
What can you do to prepare against the flu? Read on to know more about how to combat this yearly menace.
The Negative Impact of the Flu Season
There are no upsides to the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 62 million Americans get the flu every year. That staggering number translates to up to 100 million lost work days, which can lead to dollars in operations lost. Plus, a portion of lost work days are compensated, leaving millions in wages.
Employee Training for Prevention
No one wants to get sick, even employees dreaming of a vacation. The body pains and discomfort associated with the common flu are enough to wise up any of your employees. If they don’t want to read memos on the next office party, they’ll definitely be more motivated to learn more about flu prevention.
Training employees for flu prevention should be simple. Cover key pieces of information, such as how the virus is transmitted or spread from person to person.
Employees should also know the signs and symptoms of the flu. It’s important that people can identify these presentations, such as fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and headaches, sore throat, and fatigue. They should have enough information to bring themselves to the office clinic or to rest at home.
Insisting on going to work can only lead to more problems, as they can expose other employees to the flu. Cold and flu viruses are highly contagious. The moment you get infected, you can already infect others. Sick workers should stay out of work until 24 hours after the fever is gone. It’s important to prevent transmission at work.
Lastly, everyone should develop the habits needed to promote better health, even outside the flu season. Your employees should try to get plenty of sleep, exercise and fluids. Additional lifestyle tips include quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Workplace Policies for Better Health
Good hygiene practices boost immunity and reduces the chances of transmitting many diseases during the flu season. Encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently all-year round using signs near bathrooms and sinks. Soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitizer, should be easily accessible. Advertise the use of the correct hand washing technique.
There should be an implicit or even explicit set of policies to prevent the spread of flu. Good cough and sneeze etiquette reduces the chance for viruses to become airborne. People should learn to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Lastly, there should be a clear process on how to deal with sick patients in the office.
Lastly, encourage eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of clean fluids. Aside from break rooms and water stations, many companies also offer nutritious cafeteria options. Making healthy options accessible and attractive to employees has long-term benefits towards greater productivity.
Get the Best Janitorial Service in Orange County and Los Angeles
Cold and flu viruses can survive up to eight hours on different surfaces. Respiratory droplets, which contain the flu viruses, can settle on surfaces near the infected person. Cleanliness directly reduces the chances of spreading certain diseases during the flu season.
Surfaces and items which are handed over multiple times or used by different people, such as doorknobs, can be hotbeds for the growth and transfer of disease-causing organisms.
Part of the effort to get ready for the flu season includes arming employees with cleaning materials so they can clean their individual work spaces. However, the more important target are the communal areas, such as the walkways and break rooms.
Keep your office clean. Entrust the effort of cleaning communal areas, high-traffic walkways, and meeting places to a quality cleaning company.
Prestige Property Services is Southern California’s most trusted property maintenance and commercial cleaning company. From carpets, windows, floors and table surfaces, Prestige Property Services cleans and polishes to a pristine finish.
No matter how well-informed or trained your employees are, they’re still susceptible to disease if your whole office acts as a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Regularly maintaining and cleaning your office can help minimize the disastrous consequences of the flu. Contact Prestige Property Services today!