We are well into cold and flu season, which means as a business you may have already suffered and lost a few members of staff for a couple of days or a week. Viruses and germs are easily passed around the office, so once one person falls ill it could wipe out an entire team. You could lose half of your workforce in a matter of days, so it is really important as an employer to do all that you can do keep your staff healthy during flu season.
Keeping Staff Healthy
Once you’ve caught the flu or a nasty cold, there is nothing you can do but wait until it clears up. It is really easy to pass the virus on, which means people who are ill should ideally stay at home, away from public places and the workplace. Here are some recommendations for keeping staff as healthy as possible and preventing the spread of germs.
You’d be surprised how many workers don’t bother washing their hands after going to the toilet or don’t carry tissues for sneezing and coughing. Employees with germs on their hands then touch door handles, photocopiers and other surfaces in communal areas and this is how germs and viruses are spread. Make sure there are signs in the bathroom and around the office to warn and educate people about preventing diseases and illnesses.
Increase Cleaning Routine
If you don’t already have a cleaning company at the office then now is the time to hire one. If you do hire professional services, then ask them to up the cleaning routine during winter. Cleaning should be performed more often and more attention paid to bathrooms, kitchens, desks and workspaces. If the cleaning service only focuses on the bathrooms and the floors, the virus can be still be spread easily.
Work From Home Scheme
The best thing you can do to prevent the spread of colds and flu is to encourage ill workers to stay at home. If an employee is very motivated they may still want to come into work – but this could have terrible consequences if the rest of the workforce also become ill. Some workers may be worried about not being paid sick leave. As an employer, decide what sick pay is acceptable to ensure nobody brings a cold into the office, and allow staff to work from home if they have a contagious virus.
Finally, employers can supply hand sanitiser throughout the office so staff can kill any germs they are carrying before they are spread around the workplace. When people are busy they can’t always go to the bathroom to wash their hands, so an alcohol gel is handy to have on desks.
Keep your staff healthy and your business will stay healthy too.