Four Tips to Managing the Worst Flu in Decades
The flu has been miserable this year, lasting upwards of 2 weeks in some cases. Worst of all, once it enters your office or classroom it’s only a matter of time before it runs the table across your workforce.
The Center for Disease Control doesn’t see this flu going away anytime soon. With that in mind, here are four ways to curb the flu spreading through your workforce.
Encourage employees to get the flu shot! While the flu shot does not cover every strand of influenza, it provides a vital defense. There are benefits to the flu shot that go beyond inoculation. Studies show that flu shots have reduced hospitalization among people with diabetes by 79% and chronic lung disease by 52%.
And if you do get the flu after the vaccination, research suggests that you may experience milder symptoms.
Allow sick employees to work from home. Nothing spreads the flu faster than a sneezing and hacking desk mate. The CDC reports that infected people are contagious one day prior to symptoms, and up to 7 days after becoming sick.
Offering an informal quarantine time for infected workers to recover at home, avoid infecting other workers, and maintain some productivity is an option many employers are electing this year.
Post information around the office about the flu. A good reporter once said, “News channels can’t tell people how to think, but they can tell people what to think about.” Have visible information in the workplace that keeps people informed. Primarily, people need an education on how the flu spreads, and ways that they can avoid infection.
Full-court press on hand washing! It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Remind employees to wash hands, and setup additional hand sanitizer stations in the office. Make it easy for employees to maintain good hygiene, especially when they are interacting with children.