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Cold and Flu Prevention Tips for the Workplace

A manager with a cold sitting at a desk at work, working while sneezing into a tissue.

Each year winter comes with unwanted visitors. The influenza virus causes flu season to hit each year without fail. In 2017, the CDC reported having one of the worst years as there were a record-breaking number of cold and flu cases.

As the virus poses health risks to anyone that comes in contact with it, having an outbreak at work can be bad. More employees will be out sick, affecting daily business operations.

When you’re surrounded by so many people in close vicinity, it only takes one person to sneeze or cough to put others at risk.

You have to be proactive even before the flu season hits to prevent cold and flu in the workplace. Here are some prevention strategies that might help:

Onsite Flu Vaccinations

The first plan of action should be making the flu vaccine available onsite for all of your employees. Everyone should have a record of the annual flu vaccine. If somebody wasn’t able to get it for some reason, consider having a vaccine clinic onsite.

The actual shot doesn’t take a long time, and your employees can get back to work without any inconvenience.

Educate Your Employees

Hold a short seminar or send an email boost to educate your employees about healthy habits in the workplace. Organizations like the CDC have resources that can help teach the etiquette necessary for preventing the spread of germs and staying healthy.

Make Hand Sanitizers Available

In the workplace, everything is communal. You don’t know who touched what surface. Placing hand sanitizers around the office in strategic places will allow people to stay free of germs.

You can install the wall-mounted sanitizer dispensers in restrooms, the cafeteria, break rooms, etc. Also, tell your employees the importance of the hand sanitizer and encourage them to use it.

Provide Your Employees with Disinfecting Wipes

Brands like Clorox make disposable disinfecting wipes that can get rid of germs from any surface. Have them stored in a break room or janitorial closet that everyone can use. Encourage the employees to use them and sanitize their work area.

Pay attention to the surfaces on phones, computers, desktops, and workstations, as they collect germs. Ask your employees to wipe these surfaces at least once a day, especially if they’re coughing, sneezing, or experiencing other cold and flu symptoms.

Ask Employees to Stay at Home

Flu and colds are incredibly contagious. Just one person down with the flu can expose it to everyone they come in contact with. This is why managers should encourage sick employees to stay at home.

If there is important work that only that employee can do, offer that employee the ability to work from home.

Keep your office clean

Lastly, the actual workplace should be cleaned regularly. Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for two to eight hours. Cleaning the office after everyone has left can remove the viruses and prevent anybody else from being exposed to them.

ServiceMasterClean Wake County offers commercial cleaning and janitorial services that can make this task easy. We have cleaning teams provide these services across Wake County. Please contact us at (919) 981-6553 today and find how we can keep your workplace clean and fit for your employees.