Flu season is officially here. A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 111 million workdays are lost because of the flu, costing employers $7 billion in lost sick days and productivity. While getting vaccinated is still the best way to avoid getting the flu, here are seven additional tips to prepare your workplace:
1. Educate your employees about the symptoms and how the virus is spread.
2. Improve office hygiene practices, keeping in mind the dirtiest areas are: break room sink faucet handles, microwave and refrigerator door handles, and computer keyboards.
3. Review company policies for sick leave, paid time off, and telecommuting.
4. Develop a communication plan with information about signs, symptoms, sick time policies, and flu shot clinic dates and times.
5. Create a contingency plan to maintain normal business operations in the event key employees are out sick.
6. Share health plan details with your employees, making sure they are familiar with their insurance policies, and know who to call with questions.
7. Host an on-site flu shot clinic or participate in a local pharmacy voucher program.