Are you starting to see the flu shot signs go up? I noticed a few last week as I was driving around.
Before winter come upon us in full force, its time to think about getting flu shots. This is a good way to keep yourself and your employees hard at work
The one consistent thing about cold and flu season is that everyone knows it is coming, and there are simple, inexpensive ways that you can keep your office healthier.
Here are 10 things you and your employees can do this winter to close the office doors on sickness this winter:
- Encourage vaccinations. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to prevent wintertime cold and flu. However, keep it as something you promote, but don’t require. This will save you from legal repercussions if anyone has a bad reaction or doesn’t wish to take the vaccinations for personal reasons.
- Wash your hands. Simple, I know, but you’d be surprised at just how effective it is, and just how little it’s done. Post up signs in break rooms and in the restrooms reminding employees to wash their hands.
- Get antibacterial products. Hand sanitizer, wipes, disinfecting sprays, and towels should be on hand all the time for employees to clean their hands and their desks and keyboards on a regular basis. Hand sanitizers should be used in addition to good old soap and water, not as a replacement.
- Use your elbow. Teach employees to cough and sneeze into their elbows rather than their hands. After all, who wants to shake hands with someone who has just sneezed all over their palm?
- Tell sick employees to stay home. Employees shouldn’t feel guilty for calling in sick. In fact, when they are truly ill they should feel comfortable calling in and taking a sick day. You can help foster this attitude by following step 6.
- Be a good example. If your policy says stay home when you’re sick, you better stay home. If you come in and try to be a trouper when you’re sick, your employees are bound to copy, running the risk of contaminating the office.
- Plan for sickness. When the season comes up, have telecommuting options available for employees who are contagious, but still feel up to working. Ask the employee what they feel up to, and let them work/take a sick day accordingly.
- Don’t use your hands. When possible try and implement hands-free appliances, such as automatic sinks and toilets, automatic soap and paper towel dispensers and hands-free air dryers. The initial investment could pay off in saved sick days.
- Keep your distance. Use “social distancing” techniques during the flu and cold season, which encourage standing at least 3 feet apart from others and refraining from shaking hands or embracing. This will slow the spread of contagious sicknesses.
- Vaccinate your kids. Schools breed sickness. While many parents debate the vaccine, it is still the best way to keep sickness out of the home, away from you, and even farther away from your workplace.
Remember when employees are out sick they are still a part of your company. Do what you can to send them a get well wish, be it a simple card or a hot meal. The nice gesture will not only sit well with the employee out sick, but with the rest of your staff as well.