As we begin to move into the holiday season, we usually get preoccupied with all of the festivities and the stressors that come with it. Christmas presents need to be bought earlier and earlier in order to avoid the holiday rush, loads of food needs to be prepared for Thanksgiving, and holiday plans need to be coordinated. One thing that often gets lost in the shuffle is the spread of the flu. So as you spread holiday cheer with hugs, kisses, and close encounters, you’re also spreading the influenza virus.
One of the most commons ways that the flu gets spread is through the office. With multiple employees interacting, it can be difficult to stop the flu in its tracks. That is why it is important to protect yourself and your employees at the office. One way is to purchase a hazmat suit and avoid all contact with humans. Unfortunately, that probably won’t go over too well in terms of productivity. So with that foolproof option out the window, here are some other ways to protect your office from the dreaded flu.
Arm Yourself with Hand Sanitizers
One of the easiest measures to take is to purchase hand sanitizers for the entire office. This once a year expense can seriously help cut down on the spread of germs. Most employees wash their hands after they’ve used the washroom, which is a very good thing. However, that is not the only time that they should be disinfecting their hands. Any sneeze or cough should really warrant the use of hand sanitizer. Therefore each employee should have a hand sanitizer at their desk.
Large hand sanitizers should also be kept in shared areas. You can prop one up near the door to the conference room to encourage a convenient hand sanitization. The kitchen is another important area to keep a hand sanitizing station. With employees touching the same surface and their mouths, it is definitely important to have a way for them to kill germs nearby.
Encourage Use of Sick Days or Working From Home
Employees should never be discouraged from using sick days. However, it is also an odd frame of mind to encourage the use of sick days. During flu season, encouraging sick days can actually create a more productive office environment. First, if someone is sick they should be encourage to take the sick day because it will help prevent the spread of whatever they have, which could be the flu. Secondly, it is very distracting for other employees when they hear their co-worker in the next cubicle coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and blowing their nose. They can almost feel the germs creeping over the cube walls towards them.
In the event that a workaholic refuses to take a sick day, encourage them to work from home. This measure helps to keep the sick person out of the office and allows them to feel productive as they recuperate at home.
Hire a Professional Office Cleaner
Arming your employees with hand sanitizers is great, but remember that the surfaces they touch can carry the influenza virus for a portion of time as well. This is where professional office cleaners can really help out. Hiring office cleaners to do a daily cleanup not only keeps your office looking spic and span, but it also creates a less hospitable environment for viruses.
Office cleaners can perform tasks such as cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, and conference rooms that would normally go uncleaned. They will disinfect the surfaces that are touched most often such as door handles, faucet knobs, table tops and more. By disinfecting these surfaces you are helping to reduce the possibility that the flu virus will be spread.
Create an “Office Flu Shot Day”
Finally, you can coordinate and “Office Flu Shot Day” in order to have your entire workforce vaccinated. This is probably the most challenging prevention methods logistically, but it is also one of the most effective ways to protect your office from the flu.
A lot of your employees may get a flu shot on their own, but there is still a good portion of people who won’t go out of there way to get the flu vaccine. To make it more convenient and to ensure all of your employees are protected against the flu, you can either coordinate trip to a nearby clinic for the flu shot or work with healthcare providers to have the flu vaccinations brought to your office.
While all of these steps may require a small financial burden from the company, the benefit of having a healthy workforce far outweighs that cost.