Now is the time of year when it seems that everyone in the office gets the sniffles. The same germs are passed around that could put anyone us out of commission. Unfortunately, this constant transfer of bacteria or viruses is inevitable. If employees have kids in school, it only increases the amount of germs brought into the office and illnesses passed around. While it is inevitable that people in a business office will get sick, there are ways to prevent passing illnesses around and lessen their severity.

Stay Home From Work When Sick!

The best thing an employer can do to lessen the possibility of spreading germs around the office is encourage employees to stay home when sick. Although this may seem obvious, employees don't always do this. If they only have a certain amount of paid time off, they may want to save as much as possible. On the other hand, by coming into work sick, an employee can jeopardize the rest of the company by exposing others to their germs. It may be a good idea to develop a plan that allows an employee to work from home.

Although this may not work for every business, for a company that has a business insurance policy that covers “loaner” laptops for those who work from home sick, this could prevent an office influenza outbreak.

Get A Flu Shot!

While many choose to get a flu shot, many do not because they don't feel it will make a difference. Get the shot as early in the season as necessary. Many workers get caught up with day-to-day activities and forget to get the shot until they have been exposed to the flu. One tip to avoid this is for a company to have an office-sponsored immunization day, which can be very affordable and save a business the loss of sick workers.

This may be something worthwhile for a company to discuss with their business insurance agency. In lieu of this, a company can create an incentive for employees to get a flu shot. Perhaps this could be a drawing for a gift card or another incentive; the 'winner' need merely submit a flu shot receipt to be entered. 

Encourage The Use of Hand Sanitizer and Anti-Bacterial Wipes!

The first two suggestions are preventative, but what does a business do once the germs have entered the office? Encourage employees and guests in the office to use hand sanitizer as much as possible. Keeping bottles readily available throughout the office, with signs to remind everyone to use it, can help stop the spread of germs. Make it an office policy that each employee wipe down their work stations at the end of each day. Provide them with anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down their desk, mouse, key board, and anything else customarily touched throughout the day, like a stapler or tape dispenser.

In addition, make it someone’s responsibility to wipe down items in the common area such as the water dispenser, refrigerator handle, and coffee machine. This may seem excessive, but it will help stop the spread of germs that have found their way into an office.

While it is important to protect the office from germs all year, it is especially important as the dreaded flu season begins. Encourage healthy living and sanitation in the office this flu season and help employees save that paid time off for vacation, rather than sick days. For other ways to protect your company and its employees with the right business insurance, call the business insurance agency of Jones & Associates and let us work for you!

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