The dreaded flu season is approaching. If you’ve been in business for a number of years, you know that once one person gets sick, it slowly makes waves through the rest of the workplace. To keep your workplace productivity at a steady level and to prevent a significant number of absent employees, follow these guidelines to help you and your workplace stay healthy during flu season.

Tell Employees It’s Okay to Take Time Off

Over time, we’ve become a culture that never stops working even when we’re sick. Employees may feel guilty about taking time off, may not be able to afford time off, may feel they have too much work to do, or may not want to be behind on their workload. This is detrimental to not only their health, but also the health of others in their workplace.

As a manager, you need to reassure your employees that’s it’s okay to take time off for being sick and that they won’t be reprimanded for it. This win-win situation will allow your sick employee to recuperate while preventing others in the workplace from getting sick with only a small hindrance to workplace productivity.

You may also want to let your employees stay home if they have sick children. If possible, give your employee the option to work from home so that they don’t get behind on their work. Not only is it important for the employee to take care of their sick children, but it’s also important to prevent the spread of germs from home.

Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy…

Keep your workplace clean and sanitized with ease by having a plethora of cleaning supplies accessible to everyone. It won’t be much of a challenge with everyone pitching in!

  • Hand sanitizer: Place bottles of hand sanitizer in strategic places like restrooms, the cafeteria, break areas, and the main reception desk.
  • Tissues and trash cans: If you have multiple boxes of tissues spread throughout your workplace, make sure there’s a trashcan nearby so tissues can be thrown away as soon as they’re used.
  • Antibacterial spray and wipes: Keep several bottles available in your workplace for everyone to use. Encourage your employees to disinfect their workspaces every few days. See below for a list of what they should be disinfecting.

…And Disinfect Everything

Germs get everywhere. With antibacterial spray or wipes, encourage employees to wipe down:

  • Telephones, including their personal cell phone!
  • Headsets
  • Keyboards
  • Desks
  • Computer mice
  • Door knobs and light switches that are frequently touched

And if you see an employee sneezing, coughing, or experiencing other cold or flu symptoms, make extra care to sanitize their work area to minimize the spread of their germs.

Promote Flu Shots

Promote the importance of flu shots to your employees. Hang up posters or send out an email notice about where, when, and why employees should get flu shots. You can provide them with a list of which drug stores and retail outlets give out shots for free, as well as where they can get discounted flu shots.

With the implementation of these practices, your company should experience less sickness as a whole.