Every year, the influenza virus costs businesses roughly $10 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits. Here are some flu prevention tips for your workplace:
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated for the flu every year; it’s the single best protection against flu.*
- Communicate a flexible sick leave policy so workers aren’t afraid of being terminated and won’t be tempted to come in with the flu and infect others
- Advise sick employees to stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication; a person can infect others up to seven days after getting sick, so take extra precautions to minimize exposure between sick and healthy employees.
- Inform employees that coughing and sneezing are primary means of spreading the flu; provide tissues and encourage their use.
- Provide water, soap and hand sanitizers and encourage employees to keep their hands clean and to avoid touching their eyes, noses and mouths.
- Provide cleaning supplies and encourage employees to routinely clean doorknobs, counters, computers and other surfaces that are touched frequently.
*According to the Centers for Disease Control