How to prepare your workplace for cold and flu season

prevent the spread of the flu this season

As the temperatures taper off, the amount of employees affected the common cold or the flu rise. As this sickly season approaches, office managers can take some precautions to make sure their employees are healthy and that work isn’t slowed down by absenteeism.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.” Office managers who have to make sure they are fully staffed to maintain operations may not agree. As the temperatures taper off, the amount of employees affected by the common cold or the flu rise. The increase in employees who are gone can cost employers production time and – as a result – money.

As this sickly season approaches, there are some precautions managers can take to make sure employees stay healthy and work isn’t slowed down by absenteeism. Read on to find out how to protect your workplace.

Provide germ-reducing supplies 
Before you start hearing the sniffles and coughs of ill coworkers, set out some hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for employee use. It can also be a good idea to place boxes of facial tissues around the workplace to prevent uncovered sneezes. Send out a company-wide announcement to make your employees aware of them and encourage the workers to use the supplies. Additionally, many modern offices hold events at which their employees can receive a flu shot. These items could cut back on excess germs in the office and reduce the potential for illness. Your employees will appreciate the efforts to keep them healthy.

Hold health training for your employees 
Understanding how people get sick can help prevent future illnesses. Offer wellness training for your employees that includes hand washing tips and suggestions for an immune-boosting diet. Additionally, post signs that encourage healthy practices such as covering your cough, getting your flu shot and others. By making health knowledge available to your employees, you could reduce the number of employee illnesses in your office. You can also offer online training like MasteryTCN’s “The Five Things You Need to Know About the Flu” course.

Colds and flus can keep employees out of work for several days. Take measures to prevent the illnesses in your office.Colds and the flu can keep employees out of work for several days. Take measures to prevent the illnesses in your office.

Reward healthy behavior 
An increasingly popular feature of the modern office is to have a wellness program. In most cases, those who are interested in participating in the group will track their fitness journeys, log calories or sign up for company-sponsored athletic events. Some offices may even make it a competition, pitting coworkers against each other in a friendly competition to lose the most weight or log the most exercise time. If your office promotes and rewards healthy behavior, there could be a reduction in employee illnesses come cold and flu season.

Offer a decent sick day policy 
Cold and flu are two of the most highly contagious illnesses, so it does not take much for them to spread. When an ill employee is unable to use a sick day to get well, he or she may end up infecting others. However, if your office provides a benefits package that allows employees who are not feeling well to stay home and recover, you can prevent widespread sickness in your workplace. A decent plan will allow 3-7 sick days to give workers adequate time to regain their health.

When your employees are gone, the work isn’t getting done. That is an issue that can cost companies time and money. Do not let cold and flu season slow down your workflow and disrupt business growth. There are plenty of ways to reduce the number of germs and help eliminate sickness is your office.

For more workplace advice or to view their complete list of online training courses, visit MasteryTCN’s website today.


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