Flu season comes around every year, but the 2018 flu season has been especially severe. Many news outlets speculate that this year’s flu season could be the worst in a decade. Some areas are even reported to be experiencing shortages of the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control has also named this year as one of the worst on record for the flu. Their recommendation on the best way to protection yourself? Washing your hands after using the restroom. Below are more tips for keeping your office flu-free during the outbreak.
Wash Your Hands Properly
One of the most important steps in protecting office health is encouraging all employees to properly wash and dry their hands. Some businesses may keep a sign over sinks with hand washing tips. Ensure all employees know that they should wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, and rinse them with hot water after. In addition, employees should make sure to dry their hands completely, either with an electronic hand dryer, or with a clean paper towel that they dispose of properly to protect others. If your office has paper towels, you may recommend that employees use one to open the restroom doors. This prevents them from being exposed to more germs after washing their hands.
Calling In Sick
Another way to protect a business from the flu outbreak is to make sure the call in or sick day policy is clear to all employees. While having a few employees out sick can slow things down temporarily, having the entire office come down with the flu can interrupt business even more. Make sure that employees are aware that calling in sick is appropriate, and encourage anyone who might have the flu to do so. This can greatly help prevent the spread of germs from one person to another, and can prevent having more people out of the office.
Keep Restroom Facilities Clean
Pay attention to restroom facilities. These facilities can be a hot spot for passing germs, and making sure that the facilities are clean can help stop disease from spreading. If you have a designated hygiene crew, ensure that they know to pay special attention to keeping the area clean. If the business staff maintain the facilities themselves, ensure that they do so correctly. Check throughout the day to ensure that soap, paper towel dispensers, and seat covers are kept stocked. Also make sure that the area around the sinks is clean and not constantly damp.
Ensure Work Stations Remain Clean
In addition to the restrooms, encourage employees to keep their work stations clean. Many items used every day can accumulate germs quickly, and should be cleaned often. These items can include shared equipment, such as staplers and paper clip dispensers, but can also include items that stay at the desk and gather germs over time, such as computer keyboards or phones. Remind employees to keep these items and their work area clean, and make appropriate cleaning materials and hand sanitizer available to all employees.
Encourage Getting a Flu Shot
Businesses can also encourage employees to get flu shots to protect the office. While getting the vaccine or not is up to individuals, it can be encouraged by management.
If you would like more information about keeping the flu out of your office, or about business sanitation in Central Texas, contact Business Hygiene of Central Texas, located in San Marcos, TX.