‘Tis the season for sniffling and coughing around the office. Tissues and cough drops are strewn across desks and it seems like everyone has been hit with a runny nose. As a business owner or manager, it can be hard to encourage a productivity boost at the end of the year when the majority of your employees are taking sick days. Luckily, we’re here to help. Put some of these ideas into practice this season to stop the cold and flu from lingering around until the new year.
Provide Training on Cold and Flu Prevention
One of the best ways to prevent the cold and flu from running rampant in your office is through education. At the beginning of the season, host a company meeting that educates every employee on how these viruses spread from person to person. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the flu can spread to others up to about six feet away through a cough, sneeze, or even talking. Make sure your employees are conscious of these facts and ways they can spread the virus.
Post Signs about Hand Washing and Covering Coughs
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many of your employees may not be in the habit of thoroughly washing their hands or covering their cough. Regular hand washing with warm water and antibacterial soap is one of the most effective ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and spreading infectious germs to other.
Coughing into a tissue or wearing a face mask is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs into the air or onto surfaces. If a tissue isn’t handy, cough or sneeze into the elbow of your arm instead of your hand so you don’t spread your germs to other surfaces that your fellow employees may touch after you.
Weekly Wipe Downs
Through the hustle and bustle of the work week, especially during the holidays, it’s easy for your employees to forget to clean up their work spaces. By providing antibacterial wipes, employees may be more inclined to regularly disinfect their desks. You can even designate a team member each week to walk around to everyone’s desk and hand out an antibacterial wipe to wipe down their electronics and surfaces.
Make Flu Vaccinations Accessible for Your Employees
An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. To ensure your employees receive the vaccination, you can host an on-site flu vaccination clinic. A licensed nursing personnel will bring the supplies, administer the vaccinations, and dispose of the waste safely all from the comfort of your office. Consult your company’s health insurance company for on-site clinic appointments or ask your local pharmacy for more information.
If you’re not able to host a flu vaccination clinic in your office, then it’s a good practice to let employees to take a break from their work day to receive one.
Allow Sick Leave and Remote Work Options
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent every employee from being sick. There will be a few of your teammates who will be hit by the cold or flu. One of the main ways the viruses are spread is when infected people come into contact with others. Limit these interactions by encouraging employees to take sick leave if they come to work coughing and sneezing. Are your employees coming in sick because they don’t want to use their vacation time? Consider offering sick days separate from an employee’s vacation days in your benefits packages.
Some employees may be well enough to work, but putting others at risk by coming into the office. By allowing your employees to work remotely, you’ll maintain a healthy environment and keep productivity high for your business.
The common cold and flu are preventable if you educate and encourage your employees to make healthy choices. Follow #FightTheFlu on Twitter for more tips throughout the month and contact us by phone at (800) 333-7234 or on our website to learn more about our business insurance services.