How to prevent cold and flu in your workplace

We all know that cold and flu season is serious business, but do you know how it’s impacting you and your co-workers? Researchers have been taking a close look at the true cost of the flu and the common cold to businesses and the workforce. The results aren’t pretty.

What research has found is that lots of germs call our workspaces home. In fact, desks were proven to have 400x more than the restroom. And our desks aren’t alone. Phones, keyboards and common use items like faucets, copy machines and the handle on the fridge are the most germ-filled spots in the workplace.1

Long story short, all these germs create huge potential for you and your co-workers to get sick.

Each year:

  • 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu2
  • 17 million work days are missed annually3
  • 40% of sick days are due to the common cold4
  • Employers will lose $7 Billion in productivity and sick pay due to the flu5

You may not know exactly how illness is affecting your workplace, but these statistics indicate that it is—and you should be doing something about it.

The Smart Way to Wellness

This cold and flu season take prevention in your workplace beyond the basics. The benefits of regularly washing your hands are a given. We also know hand sanitizer is your best friend. But there are other steps you and your co-workers can take to make sure everyone stays happy and healthy on the job.




  1. First In-office Study Dishes the Dirt on Desks; Researchers Find Average Desk Harbors 400 Times More Bacteria Than Average Toilet Seat..” Retrieved Oct 24 2019 from
  2. Molinari NA, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Messonnier ML, Thompson WW, Wortley PM, Weintraub E, Bridges CB. The annual impact of seasonal influenza in the US: measuring disease burden and costs. Vaccine 2007;25(27):5086–5096.)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Influenza (Flu) in the workshop, 2018
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).CDC Quick Reference Guide for Public Information on Infection Control.
  5. Kirkpatrick GL. The common cold. Prim Care 1996; 23:657.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Influenza (Flu) in the workspace, 2018