In New York, flu season begins around October and ends in May. Simply put, for half a year or more, New Yorkers are sniffling at home and at work. It does not help that the flu is highly contagious. According to Forbes, infected persons can spread the virus to other people a whole six feet away.
Thankfully, there are some steps employers and employees can take together to cut down on workers calling out sick, or worse, bringing the flu to work. One of the best ways to stop the flu from spreading is to wipe down common areas. Employers can make this easy by leaving disinfecting wipes at front desk, by the printers and even in the lunch room.
Another recommendation is to encourage employees and their families to get vaccinated. Making this a free health care benefit is a great way to up the numbers of vaccinated employees, especially if you arrange to have this done onsite.
Fighting the flu also continues outside of the office, by living a healthy lifestyle at home. Employees should try to eat healthy, get adequate rest and make time for exercise. Companies can step in here, too. Some companies have gyms on site or encourage participation in 5K runs and walkathons. Believe it or not, nap pods may also be highly beneficial.
However, the flu is only one of many other illnesses that employees grapple with, so what about the rest? Forbes recommends installing better air filters. High-quality filters help to remove cleaning products, spores, pollen, dirt, dust, bacteria and allergens from the air, so that employees can breathe easy.
Sure, corporate offices are generally a lot safer than construction sites or farms. However, without adequate attention to promoting health in the workplace, employers may lose productivity to simple and preventable illnesses.