Influenza (flu) has the highest potential of any modern disease to impact our clients’ workplace productivity. Therefore, here are some helpful guidelines from the CDC concerning seasonal influenza. We at Carolina Services of the Triad deal with these challenges all the time, both with our own staff and with all our commercial customers, so we know a thing or two about sanitizing a space.
You and all of your employees should schedule an annual flu vaccine. You should also encourage everyone’s family members above the age of six months to get a shot. Although vaccination may not entirely prevent the flu, scientific evidence shows it reduces the occurrences as well as the severity of the illness.
From a business standpoint, your vaccinated employees run less risk of catching the flu themselves and, furthermore, can spend fewer vacation days taking care of ill family members.
In a simple sense, that means reduced operating costs.
How to Prevent the Flu at Work
Flu viruses spread via moist droplets that fly through the air when someone with flu coughs, sneezes, or even talks. The virus also spreads when people touch objects where the infected droplets have landed and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose.
Therefore, here are eight ways to decrease the spread of flu among your employees:
- Keep away from those who already have the flu. If you see an employee exhibit symptoms of influenza, send them home to prevent infection.
- Wash your hands. Use warm water and soap if possible, or at least an alcohol-based cleanser.
- Don’t introduce germs into your body by touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched items such as telephones, desktops, computer keyboards, doorknobs, drawer handles and appliance or equipment controls.
- Get plenty of sleep; the body rejuvenates and restores healthy energy while asleep.
- Encourage employees to remain physically active to keep blood flowing and their body regenerating cells.
- Manage stress levels to prevent wearing yourself down and becoming vulnerable to germs.
- Drink lots and lots of fluids and eat healthy food to stay as physically strong as possible.
Advice for Employees Who Catch the Flu
In addition to preventing the flu, here are CDC-approved recommendations for dealing with flu symptoms:
- Stay home from school or work, limit your contact with others and don’t go out in public.
- Remain home until your fever has been gone 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you cough or sneeze and put the tissues in a trash receptacle.
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of liquids.
Remember: people who have the flu can infect others beginning one day before they have symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick! Promote cleanliness and safety to lower your workplace’s chances of a flu outbreak. Happy employees are healthy employees!