Flu season is in full swing, as you might have noticed if fellow co-workers are beginning to cash in those sick days – or worse if you can hear the sneezing and coughing all around you. The flu can spread through a workplace like wildfire.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an immense amount of resources for educating workers on influenza, how to protect yourself from getting it, and how to prevent it from spreading throughout a workplace.
Aside from getting the flu vaccine, which the CDC recommends as the “best way to avoid getting seasonal flu,” you can take some other precautions to avoid getting sick. The CDC recommends the following six tips:
- Stay home when you are sick. It might seem like attending the pile of work on your desk is the MOST important thing, but when you are sick you won’t be as productive and you might pass the flu onto others. When everyone gets sick, nothing gets done.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you see that one of your co-workers has decided to bring the flu to work – stay away from them.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Grab a tissue to cough in or tuck your face into your elbow. The best thing to do next is wash your hands.
- Wash your hands. Whether you are sick or the people around you are, one of the best defenses is to practice thorough and regular hand-washing. If you can’t get to a sink to use soap and water, hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
- Clean surfaces and objects around you. Grab the disinfectant or even just some soap and water and clean the things around you that are touched often. Think doorknobs, railings, keyboards, phones, etc.
- Be prepared and informed. Get credible information on how to prevent the flu, and the spread of the flu. If you are an employer, it is a good idea to remind employees of the details of your sick leave policies, as well as the safe work practices they should be using (such a hand-washing and keeping a clean work space).