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Keep Your Office Healthy to Prevent a Flu Outbreak

A flu outbreak in your office can cause several problems for your business. The best flu prevention tactic is encouraging and educating workers about how they can proactively fend off the flu virus. By making sure your employees do the best they can to stay in good health and remain flu free, you can keep your business running smoothly and efficiently.

Ways to Avoid Germs

One of the best methods of flu prevention is to keep the passing of germs to a minimum. Encourage your employees to try these tactics to avoid catching the flu virus:

Stay away from people who are, or appear to be, sick: Encourage your employees to be alert for those who look like they may be infected with the flu — both at work and in their personal lives. Watch for warning signs, such as sneezing, sniffling and frequent nose blowing.

Steer clear of crowds and high-traffic areas: The more people there are, the higher the chances are that someone is carrying flu germs. Workers can decrease their odds of catching the flu by timing their errands and shopping at off-peak times whenever possible, and doing their best to stay out of particularly germy areas, such as malls and movie theaters.

If you get stick, stay home: It’s important for those who do end up getting the flu to make sure they stay home to keep from infecting others. Help your employees do this by encouraging them to stay alert for any signs of the flu. If they feel any, they should err on the side of caution to keep from potentially spreading their germs to the rest of the workforce. Some experts recommend employees with the flu stay home until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours. Encouraging telecommuting when feasible may reduce employee downtime and prevent further spread of the illness.

Proper Hygiene Can Help Keep You Healthy

While staying away from crowds and sick people is an important aspect of flu prevention, it’s impossible for your employees to be out of contact with everyone at all times. Encouraging proper hygiene, both at work and at home, can help kill any flu germs floating around. These three easy practices can go a long way in flu prevention:

Encourage employees to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing: This can help stop germs, flu or otherwise, from spreading. Even better, encourage your team to cough or sneeze into a tissue, or their wrists or upper arms, instead of directly into their hands, so they don’t transfer the germs to keyboards, doorknobs, and drawer handles. You can make this practice even easier for your workers by keeping several boxes of facial tissues within easy reach of employee areas.

Make hand washing a top priority: Washing your hands is one of the single best methods of flu prevention, killing most flu virus germs that you come into contact with. Make this a company-wide practice. Post signs reminding employees to wash their hands before leaving the restroom and provide hand sanitizer in bathrooms, kitchens, meeting rooms and other common areas.

Other Ways to Keep the Flu at Bay

It’s important for employees to keep themselves as healthy as possible, making it easier for their bodies to fend off the flu virus. In addition to promoting the benefits of getting a flu shot , encourage your staff to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Providing healthy snack options and bottled water will help make sure your workers are refueling during the workday.

By encouraging your employees to adopt these healthy habits, you can avoid the challenges that can come from a flu outbreak among your workers. Flu prevention is key to keeping everyone healthy and productive year-round.