If you notice your workers sneezing and coughing more frequently, chances are good you’re not imagining it — because flu season is officially in full-swing. The second the temperature begins to drop, you almost immediately start to prepare yourself and your company for the viruses and bacteria that are unfortunately synonymous with the winter season. But while colds and touches of the flu seem to be an inevitable byproduct of the cold weather and frosty conditions, they don’t have to be.
Help keep your company safe while upholding sustainable practices in the process. Here’s a look at five simple ways you can beat the influenza outbreak while encouraging a healthy and sustainable workflow.
Keep Hygienic Products Easily Accessible
You might encourage your employees to sneeze into their elbow, but how useful is this advice when they lack access to tissues to wipe off these unwanted germs after afterward?
The number-one way to promote wellness in businesses is to provide the resources necessary for optimum sanitation. It’s not enough to advise clean procedures without providing the actual means to put them into practice.
Regular hand washing is one of the top ways to prevent spreading germs and it may just hold the key to promoting your workers’ overall sense of well-being. That’s why it’s crucial to keep hand sanitizer, soaps and tissues available in all of your public restrooms and lobbies. For higher levels of sustainability, try replacing standard paper towel dispensers with hand-drying stations instead.
It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Your employees have access to the means necessary to safeguard themselves against the flu and you don’t have to do anything but supply the resources that protect them.
Promote Flu Vaccinations by Hosting an Onsite Event
You can encourage your employees to get the annual flu vaccine, but they still may lack the resources or even time to go out and act on your advice. If your workers have trouble getting to the doctor or a flu clinic, why not just bring it to them instead? Did you know that offering an on-site flu clinic reduces lost workdays by roughly 18 to 45 percent? In effect, making this preventative measure available might actually increase your overall productivity levels.
Consider partnering with a local pharmacy or vaccination clinic to offer low-cost or free flu vaccines in your office for one designated day. You’ll quickly find that the top way to provide a sustainable work environment is by maintaining a healthy workforce first.
Email employees, hand out flyers and promote the event on social media while promoting the benefits of getting flu shots, all without missing a day of work.
Install “No-Touch” Appliances
If you think the dirtiest object in a bathroom is the toilet, think again. Sinks contain an average of 50,000 strands of bacteria each.
And sinks aren’t the only objects crawling with dangerous germs, either. Wastebaskets, towel dispensers and door handles see their fair share of flu strains, too. So what’s the solution to cleaning the dirtiest areas in your business? Ensure they don’t get contaminated in the first place by making them hands-free.
Install sensor-activated soap dispensers, doors and hand towel machines to tackle flu season by reducing the number of surfaces your employees have to touch. Best of all, you’ll reduce your need for more cleaning materials necessary for wiping down commonly touched surfaces and provide a more sustainable work environment in the process, too.
Wipe-Down Countertops and Tables
If you own a business in the food or drink industry, you know how important it is to maintain a daily cleaning schedule — especially in the midst of flu season. A majority of your patrons will find themselves enjoying a delicious meal or tasty cocktail around your tables and bar area, so remember to wipe these surfaces down with an effective cleaning solution regularly.
Always keep fresh and sanitized hand towels or rags ready to clean all surfaces before and after each new guest arrives. Not only will it save your patrons from exposure to the flu virus, but instilling healthy bar and table washing practices will keep your employees in top shape, too.
Encourage Leave of Absences Whenever Necessary
While your workers are the backbone of your business and are responsible for efficiently working and putting your daily activities into motion, you can’t expect them to perform with vigor when they just don’t have the health to do so.
Always remind your workers that it’s okay to miss a few days of work when necessary, especially when their health isn’t up to the day’s tasks. After all, it’s better to encourage one sick worker to stay at home than to jeopardize putting your entire team at risk of catching the flu, too.
While you’re unlikely to eliminate the bacteria that causes the flu entirely, that doesn’t mean you can’t help reduce the number of cases in your business. With a few protective measures in place and a renewed dedication to sanitization practices, you can ward off the influenza virus in your business while maintaining a healthy workforce.