The CDC reports that up to 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year. Flu season can wreak havoc on your workplace causing employees to miss work which can decrease productivity. While hiring a cleaning service to regularly sanitize the office can help reduce the spread of germs, there are some basic precautions your employees can take to minimize the impact of the flu during its peak times.
Here are some tips you can use to educate your office and help protect against the spread of the flu and other sickness.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS. The primary way a virus can spread is through touch. This is an obvious one, but frequent hand washing with soap and water is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others.
2. HAND SANITIZER STATIONS- Have you ever noticed the hand sanitizer dispensers in hospital rooms and doctor’s offices? Install a few of these in your office in areas with high traffic.
3. COVER YOUR MOUTH- During the flu season send out email reminders educating your staff on the flu. Cover your mouth during a cough and use a tissue to cover your nose when you sneeze.
4. KEEP YOUR WORKING AREA CLEAN- Encourage employees to wipe down their desks, phones, keyboards, chair handles, etc. Regularly wipe down common areas such as break rooms and bathrooms.
5. FOLLOW “STAY-AT-HOME” POLICIES- Encourage sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs. Colds are most contagious during the first couple days, keeping someone away can be your first line of defense.
6. CLEAN CONTACT POINTS- Know the main contact points in your office. These are going to be areas that are frequently touched by multiple people. Common ones include door knobs, handles, locks, light switches, stair rails, faucet, toilet handles, refrigerator handles, stove knobs, remote controls, copiers, and scanners.
7. GET VACCINATED- The CDC says that the flu shot can reduce your chance of getting the flu. Encourage people in your office to get vaccinated.
Having a plan to combat the spread of the flu and sickness in your office is a great start to keep things running smoothly in the office. Create a “healthy” culture in your office and encourage habits that will protect you and your employees. Hiring a cleaning service to regularly clean your office, educating your employees, and staying proactive is your best line of defense