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Flu Season

Tis the Season to Stay Healthy: Prepping Your Office for Flu Season

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Winter presents various challenges to businesses and organizations, not only can the cold and weather make it hard for office staff to travel to and from the office, but it also makes them more susceptible to flu. Not only can flu greatly impact one’s quality of life, and make working or doing everyday tasks difficult, but it’s also very contagious. It only takes one sick office staff to infect the entire office, which can be quite detrimental to its operations. As such, an office needs to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the impact of the flu season is minimized and to prevent its propagation further.

Keep the Office Warm

It’s not exactly the cold, per se, that causes one to be sick by lowering their immune system and making them susceptible to the influenza virus. Studies have shown that cold temperatures make it easier for the flu virus to survive and quickly propagate. As such, it’s not enough to provide jackets and blankets/shawls at the workplace, but it’s imperative to keep the ambient temperature in the office warm. Not only would this keep your office staff comfortable, but it would go a long way in preventing flu from propagating. On a related note, you may also want to consider turning up your HVAC system to ensure that it works appropriately and wouldn’t break down in the middle of the flu season.

Educate Your Office Staff

The best way to combat flu is by educating your staff; it’s essential to let employees know the basics of flu, symptoms to watch out for, its means of transmission, and office etiquettes to prevent it from spreading. You can either do so during a meeting, sending a brochure through an office-wide email blast, or even have a specialist come in and talk to everyone. You may think that it’s a waste of time and resources, but considering how much of an impact a flu epidemic in the office can be to your operations, setting aside some time and money to educate your staff is a small price to pay.

Provide Hand Sanitizers

Flu can quickly spread from one person to another through direct or indirect contact, either by sneezing on the person, through a simple handshake, or touching an item/surface that’s been touched by someone who has the flu. As such, you need to place hand sanitizers all over the office: at the pantry, near the water fountain, near doors. It would also be ideal to provide each staff with a hand sanitizer of their own or have hands-free hand sanitizer dispensers placed strategically all over the office.


Clean, Clean, Clean

It’s essential to keep the office clean at all times to prevent the spread of flu. Door handles, desks, and countertops should always be disinfected. You may want to consider hiring janitorial cleaning services for the entire duration of the flu season instead of hiring cleaners on a fixed schedule. This way, you won’t only minimize the risk of flu infecting your office staff, but also guarantees that your office stays pristine.

Encourage Sick Staff to Stay Home

Some staff who are exhibiting symptoms may still want to go to work to avoid having to deal with backlogs or affect their performance ratings. However, it’s crucial for you to monitor your staff’s health and encourage those who are sick (or are showing signs of the impending flu) to stay at home and rest instead. For those that insist, you may want to consider having them telecommute if possible. Otherwise, assure them that taking sick leave won’t be taken against their performance evaluation.


It’s hard to stay healthy during flu season, and much harder to keep an entire office flu-free during the cold months of the year, but by following these tips, you can significantly lower the risk of a flu outbreak in the office and keep your workforce healthy and functional.

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