Flu and cold season return like clockwork every year, causing employees to miss work when they've caught the bug. Illness costs a 25-employee company approximately $33,000 per year to cover sick days and to pay to bring in additional staff to cover absent employees, according to Entrepreneur Magazine. Your efforts to prevent the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases will help keep your employees healthy and may save you money, too.
Encourage Flu Shots
People who get a flu shot are less likely to get the flu and miss work. Although the effectiveness of influenza vaccine is difficult to determine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu vaccination is the best method of flu prevention. Providing free flu shots to your employees may be the best way to encourage vaccinations. If that is not an option, consider offering release time or extended lunch hours to allow employees time during the day to visit the nearest clinic.
Set a Strict Sick Policy
Studies have shown that 67 percent of employees admit to coming to work when they are sick. That means putting all your employees (and customers) at risk of catching the flu. Letting employees know you expect them to stay home when they are sick relieves them of the guilt of calling in sick. Employees should also go home immediately if they show signs and symptoms of the flu while at work. Hanging in there for the last two hours of the day may infect other employees and spread the flu through your office. When sick workers stay home, fewer employees catch the flu, which means less absenteeism in the long run.
Provide Hand Sanitizer and Tissues
Now is the time to change out the standard soap dispensers for touch-free dispensers and add hand sanitizer dispensers in all public areas. Consider offering all employees personal size hand sanitizers for their desks and work areas. Place boxes of tissues within easy reach of work areas. Inform all employees of the importance of washing their hands with hot soapy water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom.
Disinfect Public Areas and Work Areas
The flu virus is passed via hand contact and thrives on phones, office equipment, desks and communal work areas. In fact, some estimates say that the average office desk may contain 400 times the number of germs as a toilet seat. To prevent the spread of germs, disinfect these areas frequently. Hiring commercial cleaning services like Two Men and a Vacuum to come in after hours to clean and disinfect your office goes a long way toward curtailing the flu. That being said, you still should encourage employees to wipe down desks and equipment throughout the day, too.
Call Two Men and a Vacuum
Two Men and a Vacuum prides itself on providing quality office cleaning services for a reasonable price. Trained and experienced technicians can thoroughly clean and disinfect your office on a regular schedule and become an important part of your fight against flu this year.