This year’s flu season has been one of the most intense in over a decade. And while the good news is that we may be past the worst, we’re not out of the woods yet. Widespread flu activity is still being reported in 48 states, according to the latest data from CDC. Employee absence rates from the flu are projected to cost employers about $9.4 billion in lost productivity nationwide.
The best way to prevent the flu and other viruses from spreading at the office is for employees to either work from home or to take a sick day. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 employees go to work sick. Also, many people are infected (and contagious) 1 to 2 days before they develop any symptoms.
Here are 3 ways to help the flu from spreading in your building.
- Encourage employees to frequently wash their hands, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, after touching any high traffic surfaces (copy machine, door knob, etc) or being near someone who is ill.
- Use no-touch trash cans, provide hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes.
- Ensure that janitorial is providing a 3-step cleaning process to clean, disinfect and sanitize surfaces. Sanitizing a surface will reduce 99.9% of bacteria but will not remove viruses. Disinfecting destroys bacteria and germs, but it is not designed to lift dirt off a surface. Flu viruses can survive for 24 hours on hard surfaces so it’s important to clean, disinfect and sanitize.
Keeping building occupants healthy and productive will reduce absenteeism costs all year long.