Cold and Flu Prevention in the Office

Your employees aren’t just your work mates — they play a major role in keeping your business on track! Return the favor by using our handy list to fend off the flu in your office space and keep your team healthy, productive and profitable all year long.

Use Preventative Health Care

Before any sickness hits your office, take all available precautions to keep the flu from entering or spreading throughout your building. Check out these tips for preparing your office to repel the flu bug this season.

Amp up your arsenal. Stock up on germ-fighting disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Wiping down traffic-heavy surfaces, doorknobs, copiers and computers on a regular basis can prevent a lot of work-place sickness. Supplying sanitizer and tissues to each of your employees is a great move, too — that way it’s readily available and employees don’t have to bring their own to work.

Call the shots. Whether you organize a flu clinic in your office or send reminders to your employees to get vaccinated, make sure flu shots are easily accessible in the fall months leading up to flu season. One of the biggest reasons people don’t get flu shots is because of a lack of convenience — but by bringing it to them, you’re upping your office’s immunity with every shot.

Promote good hygiene practices. Stocking your employees up with disinfectants, tissue and sanitizer is only part of the equation — consider posting signs encouraging handwashing in restrooms and hand sanitizer after using a tissue.

Be Creative and Versatile With Scheduling

Whether you’re down an employee because they have the flu or a coworker has a sick child, being adaptable to your coworkers and their family’s health can pay dividends in your employees’ wellbeing. Work these tips into your scheduling habits and keep your team’s productivity high.

Support your sick policy. Encourage your employees with flu symptoms to go home, and remind them it’s okay to use their sick days when ill or caring for a loved one. If they’re working at less than 100 percent, they won’t be as productive as they usually are — and they’ll run the risk of getting other employees sick, too.

Limit face-to-face time. When you’re in close proximity with someone else, you’re much more likely to share germs. If you’re comfortable running meetings virtually via online communication and meeting software, take advantage and encourage employees to err on the side of caution when meeting with someone who’s feeling under the weather.

Revisit your work-from-home policy. If your organization allows employees to work from home, encourage them to do so when they’re not feeling their best. Employee trust is huge when it comes to working remotely, so make sure employees are taking their work seriously when they clock in virtually.

Lead by Example With Healthy Habits

Shore up your health-friendly office policies by practicing what you preach. Follow these tips to keep yourself and coworkers happy, healthy and productive.

Wash your hands. Using hot water and soap, scrub your hands and under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, touching any shared items, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes. Those areas are the main ways the flu virus gets into your system in the first place, so don’t touch your nose unless it’s with a tissue, sneeze into your upper arm and do your best not to itch your eyes.

Don’t use anyone else’s stuff. Be protective of your own work materials and don’t use anything of anyone else’s: not a computer mouse, laptop or keyboard. They’re covered in their owners’ germs.

Limit your time in the office kitchen. Speaking of germs, there are bound to be loads of them in your company kitchen on dirty coffee cups, half-washed plates and that spoon that’s been in the sink for days. Don’t spend too much time in there outside of pulling your lunch out of the fridge.

Staying healthy at work is a team effort. And after you’ve worked hard to protect your employees from the flu bug, contact an American Family Insurance agent to see how you can protect your business and all your hard work from the unexpected.


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