In New Zealand, around 10-20 percent of people get infected with the flu each year. Flu can be as contagious as it is debilitating, resulting in hospitalizations and missed work hours. One of the dangers of flu is that those who are infected may not even show any symptoms of it until after 24 hours.
So those with the flu may end up still going to work and infect others. This same quality makes the disease communicable. It’s easy to see how it can quickly spread in a closed office setting. It can be quite detrimental to the office’s operations if everyone gets sick.
Any company should do the following things to keep their workers healthy and safe this flu season.
Office Flu Season Orientation
You need to educate your employees and staff to pre-emptively prevent flu infections at work. Not everyone is aware of the symptoms of flu, but it can affect one’s quality of life, and how easily it can be transmitted.
Before flu season arrives, take an hour to meet with your staff and have a professional talk about the symptoms and preventions of influenza. Proper handwashing, as well as coughing and sneezing etiquette, should be included in this orientation. It’s also a good idea for you to revisit some of your sick leave policies and insurance. This orientation could also be the perfect venue for your staff to voice out their concerns if they or their family gets sick, and what to do if it happens.
Keep the Office Warm
Cold room temperatures can make people feel cold and ill. But you’d be surprised to know that it isn’t necessarily the cold that can make a person sick. Studies have shown that the influenza virus thrives and spreads faster in cold, dry air.
But the colder it is in the office, the more likely your staff would get sick because the flu virus would be able to spread quickly in such conditions. A study showed that lower temperatures are linked to lower productivity. You need to contact your local heat pump service company and install an energy-efficient heating system to keep your staff healthy, comfortable, and productive.
Place as many general-use hand sanitizers all over the office; you should also provide each of your staff a small bottle for quick personal use. Encourage your staff to use the sanitizer whenever they cough or sneeze on their hands, and when touching doorknobs and other items that are often used in the office.
Purchase these sanitizers in bulk, so they are more affordable for you. They can provide your workforce with proper hygiene during flu season. You should also consider getting hands-free sanitizer dispensers.
For flu season, you may want to remind your staff to avoid handshakes or any personal contact with strangers and co-workers. For bathrooms, it’s also best to install hands-free or sanitary door openers to prevent the spread of flu through contact with dirty door handles.
Encourage Employees To Stay Home When Sick
It’s best for employees to stay home when they are ill. Some of your employees may want to force themselves to go to work, but you need to remind them they are putting the entire office at risk. Instead, encourage sick employees to stay home and get proper rest.
Keeping the office flu-free and healthy during flu season can be challenging, but your company can do many things to keep the flu at bay. Ensure your staff stays healthy throughout the season with these simple strategies.