How to Keep Your Workplace Healthy During the Flu Season

Employee Benefits Tips to Keep a Healthy Workforce During Flu Season

Employee Benefits Flu Season
Employee Benefits Flu Season. Depositphotos.com/sebastiangauert

As an employer, it's up to the combined efforts of your HR and benefits team to make your workplace as free from germs as possible particularly in this season of cold and flu. This can be a difficult task to achieve, particularly if not all members of staff are cautious about germs in the workplace or there are new employees who have gaps in their employee benefits. But, with a little planning ahead and proactive steps, your workplace can remain productive and fully staffed during a busy cold and flu season.

 

Read on for some helpful tips to help you and your colleagues stay healthy during the flu or cold season.

1. Encourage Employees to Use Earned Time Off

A perfect starting point will be to encourage employees to use sick days when they need to recuperate, especially in this cold or flu season. Some employers are not always happy when employees ask for sick leave. Try not to be negative about this. You are to encourage employees to go home when sick and stay home until they get better; not minding if they have presentations or due deadlines. Also, if they have sick kids, advise them to work from home because they may be carrying some germs waiting to be spread.

2. Promote Annual Flu Shots

Along with launching a corporate wellness program, endeavor to get your colleagues and members of staff to get flu shots. If your firm can’t afford to provide them, encourage co-workers to get it on their own using their health insurance.

Some drug stores and retail outlets make free flu shots and other wellness services available at low costs to employees and dependents. Some companies make use of posters and email notices to encourage employees to get their flu shots. You can post them in employee break areas and add a reminder note to pay stubs.

3. Hand Sanitizing Stations and Soap a Must

Firms ought to make available hand sanitizers and other helpful toiletries at strategic places like restrooms, cafeteria, break areas, etc. as this can go a long way to prevent the spread of germs in the workplace. Add a few bottles of hand sanitizers to the office and encourage employees to wipe down their phones, computers, desktops, and workstations with alcohol pads at least once a day. Educate employees about proper office etiquette about staying healthy. If you see an employee sneezing, coughing, or experiencing other cold and flu symptoms, make extra care to sanitize their work area. 

4. Book a few Extra Office Cleanings

Most companies employ the services of cleaning companies, who come around a few times a week to make sure the whole working environment is clean. This culture should be adopted by your firm if it is not already being practiced and if it already in practice, you could increase the number of times these cleaners come around in a week. The cleaning should be done thoroughly, from the roof to the rug; every corner of the work environment should be kept clean. Advise your cleaning service that you would like extra attention paid to kitchens, restrooms, the break area, and office desks — using a virus busting cleaning solution.

 

5. Install Hands-Free Appliances

This is common in public bathrooms and should be considered for your firm. You can install hands-free sanitizing stations, soap dispensers, sinks, toilets and paper towel dispensers. This can go a long way in halting the spread of any disease or infection at your workplace. By keeping hands off, employees will have less chance of transferring germs and leaving viruses behind.

It goes without saying, but as the benefits administrator for your company, it's important to educate employees about their benefits and taking care of their health. Roll out a series of health related emails to remind employees of good health practices and what to do if they need to visit the doctor.