It’s here. The bane of every employer: the flu. Around 5-20% of US citizens get it each year.
And that adds up to a significant chunk of your workforce.
If you lose 20% of your company to the flu for a few days, that brings operations to a screeching halt.
The damage to your business can be enough to give you a heart attack.
So, what can you do to prevent the flu from causing any more damage to your workplace than necessary?
Here’s five simple things you can do:
1. Do On-Site Vaccinations at Your Workplace
Hey, you can relate to this too: you have so many things on your to-do list that some simply slip through the cracks.
It’s easy to say,”Oh…I’ll do this tomorrow. Wait…I’ll do it the next day…” and then finally it’s three months later and it still hasn’t been done yet.
Many companies give flu shots on-site. Give your local pharmacy a call.
2. Make Off-Site Flu Shots Easy
Maybe having someone come on-site isn’t an option for you.
Okay. That’s fine. Then the next best thing you can do is make getting a flu shot off-site easy.
First, make sure your company’s health plan covers flu shots. If you don’t have that in place, you can try researching organizations who give flu shots for free. And if neither of those options work, consider reimbursing your employees for their flu shots.
Research exactly where and when employees can get flu shots. Create a list and get it in everyone’s hands. Allow your employees to leave work to get their shots if need be.
Small concessions like these pale in comparison to a massive flu outbreak!
3. Institute These Basic Hygiene Policies
OSHA recommends the following:
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Use soap and spend at least 20 seconds (enough to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) lathering and scrubbing.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as much as possible.
- When you cough, cover your face with your sleeve or tissue. Throw the tissue out immediately.
- Every time you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands.
- Don’t share office equipment with other employees.
4. Encourage Employees to Stay Home
If your employees feel any little bit of illness, tell them to just stay home and rest up. Allow them to work from home also.
Employees who work from home are happier and more productive anyway.
Better to lose a couple days from one employee than to have them come to your office, spread the flu, and multiply the productivity loss by a number of times.
The flu may get loose at your office. But it doesn’t need to jeopardize the overall health of your business.
And now you have a list of solid strategies in place to minimize the potential damage it causes.