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Its Still Flu Season, What Can You Do to Reduce the Damage?


Flu season is upon us yet again, and it's already shaping up to be one of the worst in recent history. During the first week of January 2018, approximately 22.7 people out of every 1,000 that were hospitalized with the flu. To put this number into perspective, during the final week of December 2017 only 13.7 people out of every 1,000 were hospitalized. The numbers are definitely moving in the wrong direction.

This is a particularly big issue for business owners everywhere, as unhealthy and sick employees cost businesses in the United States an amazing $153 billion per year in lost productivity. When people get sick their work output drops dramatically, as does the quality of said work. If they happen to infect your entire office, suddenly you've got a massive problem to deal with.

But thankfully, "dealing with it" is more straightforward than you probably realize. Even though flu season is still in full swing, there are a number of tips you can use to reduce the damage as much as possible.

Encourage People to Get Vaccinated

According to the CDC, one of the best ways that you can keep your office healthy all flu season long involves encouraging people to get vaccinated whenever possible. Yes, you're supposed to get vaccinated before flu season begins - but that doesn't mean you can't apply this tip moving forward.

Let your workforce know that their health is a priority and if they need to take an afternoon off to go get a flu shot, they're more than able to do so. Yes, you might lose an afternoon of work - but this is one investment that will more than pay for itself when your entire office doesn't get hit with a massive wave of the flu virus later on.

Encourage People to Take Sick Days

Again, this is one of those tips that may seem a little counterintuitive as you're trying to AVOID losing huge amounts of productivity to the flu virus. But the thing to remember is that while a flu outbreak always begins with one person, it very rarely ever stops there.

If one of your employees feels like they're coming down with the flu, you need to let them know that they should take sick days without repercussion. Gently let them know that you'd even prefer it if they didn't come in for a few days. Point out how easy it is to work from home and let them know that you expect them to focus on their health first and foremost. This alone will go a long way towards stopping the type of infection that can bring your entire workforce to its knees.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Finally and perhaps most importantly, you need to make an active effort to keep your entire office as clean as possible all flu season long. This doesn't just include bumping up spring-cleaning season, although that will certainly help. Look into having hand sanitizers installed if you don't already have them. Hire a cleaning service to come in and do a much more thorough clean on a regular basis than you could ever do on your own. Keep air sanitizers around to periodically spray around the office, cutting down on the spread of germs.

The flu virus has a tendency to infect the majority of the people in an office when the said office isn't as clean as it can be. Therefore, one of the best chances you have of stopping an outbreak before it ever has a chance to start involves cutting off the flu's ability to spread in that way. This doesn't just mean cleaning - this means cleaning like you've never cleaned before. Rest assured, your employees will thank you for it.

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