Achoo! Sniff, sniff – probably the most dreaded sound combination heard in any office. The thought of a company-wide flu epidemic would put any concerned office manager in a panic and rightfully so. This year’s flu season has been one of the worst on recent record, and federal officials warn it’s not getting better anytime soon despite the warmer weather.
Illness not only directly affects productivity but attendance overall. It can hinder performance and add stress to an already active workday. But you can stop it dead in its tracks and prevent its development just in time for spring.
Flowers are in bloom, but your workplace is not out of the woods just yet. Here’s how you can keep your office flu-free this season.
Take your parents’ advice
Shared spaces, materials and infrastructure are ground zero for potential illness. One of the single best methods of flu prevention is to do what has been ingrained in our brains since childhood – cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands.
It seems like common knowledge but just think about how many items and people your hands come in contact with. Better yet, did you know pathogens in your coughs and sneezes can stay alive in the air for up to 45 minutes?
Improved personal hygiene practices can keep employees healthy and lively not just in the spring but all year long. Try making facial tissues and hand sanitizer readily available in common areas for easy employee access. You can decrease the spread of common ailments that can leave your office debilitated.
A Clean Office is a Happy Office
There is no denying the cliché saying. Having a clean office will not only keep your team happy, but able-bodied. By frequently sterilizing keyboards, computers, phones, and door handles you can reduce the spread of illness in your office year-round.
If your office does not have a regular cleaning schedule in place it may be time to create one. Try pinpointing the most common unclean areas and remember to use cleaning products that are safe for office use.
Boost Your Team’s Immune System
Marc from finance is beginning to sound nasally. Your coughs have become more frequent and now someone from the marketing team is sneezing. Your first inclination is to reach for an Emergen-C and pray that everyone’s symptoms would subside before it becomes widespread. Instead of looking for a quick, over-the-counter fix why not prepare your team’s immune system to do what it was meant to – fight.
Dark leafy greens, sweet potato, garlic and wild salmon are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can include in your team’s catering program to boost their immune systems. Healthier food choices coupled with regular exercise can contribute towards an office free of sickness. By promoting healthy eating in the workplace you are one step closer to a flu-free season.
Don’t Get a Flu Shot, Bring the Flu Shot to You
Workplace flu shot clinics are an easy, cost-effective way to protect your team. By arranging a flu shot clinic you are making the process of getting vaccinated that much more accessible, potentially preventing an in-office epidemic before it’s widespread.
No matter where your business is located, providers such as Rite Aid and CVS offer flexible programs that can benefit any office no matter the size. These mobile immunizations are administered in your workplace by a fully trained staff and are typically accompanied by a pharmacist, making this service both convenient and safe.
If your office chooses not to opt for a workplace flu clinic, many plans are able to provide a voucher for this service at your convenience.