Top 5 Tips For Keeping Employees Healthy This Winter
It’s flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu costs $10.4 billion in health care costs each year, plus $6.2 billion in lost productivity. How can you, as an employer, help to minimize the spread of germs in the office and make sure your employees stay healthy, happy and productive? Here are 5 tips for maintaining a healthy workplace:
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. Consider hosting a flu vaccination clinic at your business or promote flu vaccinations within your community. Vaccinations are offered at many locations including doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores and schools.
- Promote proper hand washing. Simply washing your hands with hot soapy water is one of the most effective ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. If soap and water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used, however hand sanitizers do not remove all types of germs. Washing with soap and water is the best way to destroy germs.
- Advocate good health habits. Covering your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious meals are common sense ways to combat the onset of the flu. Encourage employees to take care of themselves all year round so they are better equipped to combat the flu during the winter months.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces. Tables, doorknobs, chair arms, elevator buttons, restroom faucets and toilets, coffee makers, water dispensers and stair railings are all easy places for bacteria to grow. Routinely cleaning and disinfecting these and other high-touch surfaces and objects with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant will help prevent the spread of the flu virus.
- Encourage employees to stay home if they’re sick. “Presenteeism,” the opposite of “absenteeism” is a term that means “showing up” and working while you’re sick. Many people feel compelled to “show up” for work even when they aren’t feeling well. This does nothing to encourage a healthy work place; in fact, quite the opposite. University of Arizona environmental microbiologist Kelly Reynolds launched a study in her office that had startling results. She introduced one sick employee with an office of healthy ones and within four hours, 50 percent of the offices’ surfaces were contaminated! That’s scary. As an employer, you can significantly decrease the rate at which a virus is spread among employees by cultivating a culture that encourages employees to stay home when they’re sick.
Do you need help maintaining a healthy work environment for yourself and your employees? If so, give us a call or CLICK HERE to contact us. Buildingstars’ comprehensive cleaning solutions create cleaner, healthier workplaces and let you focus on the most important aspects of your business.