When fall and winter roll around, many are likely to be affected by the dreaded flu. The office should take precautions to educate employees about healthy habits and provide resources to help further prevent the spread. Employees are the backbone of the company, making it very important that their health is a high priority. Here are some ways you can protect employees this flu season and prevent the spread of the virus throughout the workplace:

Educate Employees

Employers should educate their employees on the flu, so they know how to avoid the spread of it. Educated employees will make better decisions about staying home to protect their coworkers and themselves during the flu season. They will also make better, mindful decisions while in the office. Some things to educate employees on to keep themselves healthy during the flu season are: 

  • Avoid touching your face
  • Symptoms—employees should know what to look for so they can stay home or take precautions
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or do it in an elbow to keep it from entering the air
  • Social distance from others
  • Eat healthy foods to nourish your body and get active
  • Disinfect individual work area often
  • Sleep adequate hours at night to keep the immune system strong
  • Wash hands frequently to keep up good hygiene

Host a Free Flu Vaccine Clinic

Free flu clinic

Provide employees with resources to combat the flu, which includes a free flu shot. Some people may not go to the doctor because of inconvenience and lack of time, so consider hosting a free flu vaccine clinic. Bringing the clinic to them is the best way to ensure all employees are getting protection from the flu and taking every precaution possible. If hosting a clinic isn’t an option, employers can do their part to ensure employee safety by reimbursing for flu vaccines received at another place.

Ask and Encourage Employees to Go Home/Stay Home

go home

Some individuals may feel pressured to come into the office when they are feeling sick because they want to avoid making a wrong impression. Employers put such an emphasis on always showing up or being on time, leaving little room for forgiveness. 

Encourage your employees to know that things happen and people get sick. They should know taking sick days is okay while avoiding negative consequences. They should also know they are allowed and encouraged to leave if they feel symptoms coming on. Doing this will keep sick individuals out of the healthy workplace, and your other employees protected as well. If employees who are ill would like to work from their home, this could be an option too. Accommodate employees as best as you can because they are the backbone of the company. Accommodation shows your employees that you not only genuinely care about them, but the company as a whole.

Provide Sufficient Amounts of Cleaning Supplies

provide cleaning supplies

The key to any healthy office is keeping the space clean. Make sure the office is getting clean consistently, and offer cleaning supplies to employees. When employees have access to cleaning supplies, they are more than likely going to utilize them. You want them to be able to clean their own space. Keeping each workspace clean will help contribute to a healthier workplace overall. 

Place Hand Sanitizer around the Building for Easy Access

hand sanitizer

Odds are bathrooms will not be placed in every corner of the office. Quick access to the bathroom to wash hands when people touch a doorknob or other popular surface is not always available. Finding a bathroom is also not the most time-efficient way to rid your hands of germs when you have to go out of the way. Employers should place hand sanitizer in high traffic or convenient areas, so employees can keep their hands clean at all times. Hand sanitizer dispenser stands are a great way to ensure germs aren’t being spread from pump to pump. With their touch-free application, employees can avoid contact with a surface that everyone is consistently using.

Keeping employees healthy and safe should be a key goal in the workplace. Any of these tips will keep employers on the right track to ensure the health and well-being of their employees during this flu season.

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