Flu season is commonly seen during autumn and winter, beginning in October and continuing through the early spring months. During this time, many office workers are exposed to and contract the Influenza virus, otherwise known as the flu. This illness is detrimental to employees, and thus the business as a whole. Employees who become ill will either be forced to take sick days, resulting in a loss of productivity in the business place, or will come to work anyway and risk infecting others. This no-win situation can be prevented by preparing your office for flu season in advance.
Educating Management and Employees
The best method for dealing with flu season is prevention. Prevention starts with a company’s employees, so their education is integral to getting through flu season without too many outbreaks. Encourage employees to get flu shots, but also remind them to be aware of effective business hygiene. Prevention can only be as effective as those practicing it. It’s important for office management to set a good example for other employees by practicing and promoting prevention themselves.
Healthy Hygiene Practices
For maximum prevention, ensure that employees are aware of and practice healthy office hygiene. This include washing hands correctly and often, and making sure that communal office areas, such as the restrooms and the kitchen, or other common areas, are kept clean. Management and employees should keep everyone’s health in mind when they use these facilities.
Identifying Potential Points of Infection
Another helpful aspect of prevention is identifying office areas and equipment that may be a spreading point for infection. For instance, many employees will clean the surface of their desk, but not some of the items that they use daily, such as the mouse for their computer, or their keyboard. These items can harbor more germs than a toilet seat, and it’s important to keep them clean. Encourage employees to clean shared items, such as phones, daily if possible.
Encouraging Constant Cleanliness
Keeping an office clean is a constant process. Promoting constant cleanliness can include simple things like providing hand sanitizer to employees, but may also require more thorough action, such as hiring a cleaning crew to detail the office. Some services offer delivery of sanitary products as well as office cleaning, which makes it easier to keep bathrooms and kitchens stocked with soap and sanitizer.
Dealing with the Flu at Work
If employees do come down with the flu, make sure that every precaution is taken to keep it from spreading. Make it known that taking sick days is appropriate and appreciated to prevent the contagion from spreading to additional employees. While this may mean a temporary loss of manpower if one or two office members must be absent, it will save productivity by protecting the rest of the office.
If you would like more information about office hygiene, or would like to speak to a representative about securing hygiene services for your office or business, please contact Business Hygiene of Central Texas, located in San Marcos, TX.