Don’t let Influenza decimate your holiday plans

Don’t let Influenza decimate your holiday plans

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season typically occurs between the months of October and May. In other words, it is coming soon.

There are things you can do to lessen the likelihood of contracting the flu or cold virus – many get flu shots. Even so, there is no guarantee that you will keep this out of your life, especially if you find yourself in close contact with others on a daily basis.

As a business owner, there is nothing worse than the thought of a flu or cold outbreak in your office. Not only will this impact the overall health of your employees, but it can lead to a loss in productivity.

Some small business owners are also struggling with how much sick time to give employees. If your already staff is passing around the flu, it doesn’t leave you with many options. The best bet is likely prevention.

Here are three tips for keeping your office healthy this cold and flu season:

Stress the importance of proper care during this time of the year. For example, you may want to send out a memo with more information on local clinics that provide flu shots free of cost. You cannot require employees to get a flu shot, but it never hurts to provide information and make helpful suggestions.

Make it known that there is nothing wrong with taking sick time. You don’t want anybody to miss work due to an illness, but it is better than the person coming in and spreading the virus to others. Before cold and flu season hits its peak, let everybody know that it is better to be safe than sorry.

Keep your office clean. This can include everything from installing hand sanitizer stations to hiring a cleaning service to visit your office on a regular basis. Anything you can do to cut down on germs is something to consider.

If you want to keep your office healthy this cold and flu season, if you want to improve the overall health of your staff, don’t hesitate to follow the three tips above.

Cold and flu season is approaching and the close quarters of the workplace allow coworkers to easily trade germs.

Take a few simple steps to prevent illnesses from spreading and promote productivity throughout the workplace.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are more than 62 million cases of the common cold in the U.S. annually. The flu also affects five to 20 percent of Americans every year with the peak season starting in late November, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“Fighting germs around the office means keeping your employees safe and maintaining productivity throughout the peak cold and flu seasons,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas. “Encouraging proper hygiene and a liberal leave policy will help maintain a happier, healthier and productive workplace.”

• Build up an arsenal to fight germs. Kleenex, hand sanitizer, and products for cleaning work spaces are three basic purchases employers can make for fighting germs around the office. Also consider investing in no-touch trashcans.

• Encourage people to stay home. Sick employees may think they’re being dedicated workers when they still come into work. But, the truth is, they spread germs to other employees, and cut down on the overall productivity of the business. Encourage employees to stay home when they are sick at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or severe symptoms.

• Consider instituting a flexible leave policy—and appropriate technology—that allows employees to work from home if they or their kids are sick.

• Promote good hygiene around the office. Remind everyone of the importance of handwashing and covering their mouths if they sneeze or cough. Encourage employees to regularly clean shared equipment, such as phones and computers, and wipe down common areas. Post friendly reminders around the workplace in languages that all employees can easily understand.

• Encourage flu shots. Contact your local hospital to see if they provide on-site flu shots, or consider reimbursing some or all of the cost for employees to get a shot on their own time.

• Hold a health fair. Contact your local hospital to see if they provide health fairs for larger offices. You can also contract the coordination of an on-site health fair with a company specializing in the service.

• Set a good example. Now that you’ve asked everyone to wash their hands regularly, and stay home if they’re sick, it’s important as the business owner that you follow your own advice.

When you’re the boss, it can seem like an impossible task to take a sick day. But stay home, and keep your germs out of the workplace.