Cold & Flu Season

By on Sep 30, 2015 in News

Cold and flu season is a headache for companies around the nation. The Integrated Benefits Institute states that US companies lose $227 billion each year in lost productivity. Those losses are the results of illness-induced absenteeism and disgusted woman during cold seasonpresenteeism (when illness prevents workers from fulfilling their potential). Cut your losses and protect your employees with a few creative housekeeping tips. These small investments could save you thousands—or more—in the long run.

  1. Equip Your Team for Cleanliness

A study conducted by the University of Arizona reveals that it takes about four hours for traces of infectious viruses to spread to solid surfaces throughout your office. These viruses can thrive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Strategically place disinfecting wipes throughout the office. Employees can wipe down their workspaces throughout the day. You may be surprised by how many employees take advantage of the wipes!

Some employees will want to avoid conventional antibacterial wipes. To promote cleanliness for all, consider supplying this simple, natural cleaner as well: one drop of lemon essential oil per four ounces of water in a spray bottle. High-quality lemon essential oils have proven antiseptic, antimicrobial, and bactericidal properties. It’s a natural alternative for employees who might not use conventional disinfectant wipes in their workspaces.

  1. Restock Your Break Room Wisely

The traditional break room setup usually includes coffee, tea, sugar, and creamer. In fall and winter, consider adding a few fresh lemons and raw honey to the mix. Breathing in warm teas stimulates the cilia of the nose, helping to block out germs. Honey is a natural sweetener that doubles as an antibacterial agent. It’s also a beloved soothing agent for irritated throats. Lemon adds flavor to teas while helping to thin mucus, thus minimizing the irritation caused by postnasal drip.

  1. Stock Up on Lotion

Yes, lotion. During cold and flu season, our skin can become incredibly dry. Frequent hand washing, hand sanitizers, and cold weather conditions take a toll on our skin. Dry, cracked skin has few defenses against viruses and bacteria.

By stocking the restrooms and break rooms with lotion, you can promote health for three groups of employees. Group one washes up obsessively yet is still vulnerable to illness due to dry, cracking skin. With added moisture, their skin can protect their bodies as it should. Group two won’t wash their hands if they feel their hands are already too dry. Ease their concerns by providing a way to moisturize. Group three likes to smell nice! If there is a fun scent available that they want to apply, they’ll think twice about putting it on without washing their hands first.

  1. Touchscreen Cleaners

We wash our hands—and then pick up our grubby smartphones and tablets. It might be beneficial to have a tub of lens cleaners right next to the disinfectant wipes. Several lens cleaners contain alcohol, which kills germs on touchscreen surfaces. Concerned about alcohol on your device? There are alcohol-free alternatives that still promote some degree of cleanliness, which is better than none.

  1. Stay Home

It starts with one, a single sneezing, coughing employee. That lone employee may not think his sickness is a big deal. As a leader, you can protect your team by letting him know that it’s okay (and probably best) if he gave himself a day off to recover. Showing up to work again with his stomach bug or cold in tow will only result in more sick days for more people—and greater costs to your company.