As flu season starts to creep up on us, and the weather gets cooler here in Denver, it’s time to think proactively about ways to help reduce the spread of the flu in your office. Staffing shortages hurt productivity and revenue, so keeping staff happy, healthy, and present at work is an all-around win.
The flu virus is able to be transmitted up to 7 days after symptoms appear, and the flu germs can be spread even before anyone reports feeling sick. This is why prevention is so critical, even BEFORE a symptom appears. While there is not a 100% effective solution, there are ways to help reduce the risk. Here are 4 ways to keep the flu at bay:
Sanitize High Touch Areas
Germs are everywhere, and in offices, unlike at home, there are more people touching objects and sharing germs. Commercial space often means staff, suppliers/vendors, and customers can come through the space, and leave behind germs. While frequent hand-washing helps you remove germs from your hands, cleaning surfaces helps reduce the chance of germs getting there in the first place. Flu germs can live for up to 8 hours on hard surfaces; daily sanitation kills these germs to reduce the spread of disease.
Office cleaning services have never been more important, and ramping up their efforts with more frequent visits may be a good idea during flu season. In Denver, snowy and icy conditions can also create a hazard, so more frequent office cleaning could reduce slip and fall liability as well.
In addition to office cleaning, you may want to sanitize your own office space to reduce germs. Wipe your phone, desk, and areas that are frequently touched in your space, such as a reception window. Ask the cleaning company to pay special attention to high touch areas you are aware of that they may not be.
Encourage Use of Sick Days
This may seem a bit counterproductive when we are talking about keeping performance high, but encourage employees who are sick to stay home. When employees are in the peak of their symptoms, they are not very productive, and worse, they can spread their germs to others, creating a domino effect of absences due to illness.
In addition to encouraging appropriate use of sick days, share information about signs of the flu and colds, as well as how to prevent them. Post signs and use memos to stress the importance of hand-washing, offer a flu vaccine clinic, and/or install hand sanitation stations. Being proactive and providing education and reminders can help staff to stay well.
Use Good Health Habits
Staying healthy from the flu involves staying healthy in general. Good sleep, diet, and exercise keeps your doctor happy with you, and also creates a strong healthy immune system to naturally fight off sickness. Drink lots of water and limit stress to keep your body in optimal shape.
If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow. Teach this practice to others. Avoid the habit of touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, without having washed your hands first. Hand washing should always happen before and after eating and food prep, using the restroom, or after activities that involve touching high traffic areas.
Consider the Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is recommended for people over the age of 6 months, and especially for those with compromised immune systems. Several forms are available including the standard flu shot, nasal spray, intradermal, and high dose for those over the age of 65.
People who have had adverse responses to the flu vaccine in the past or have allergies to eggs or mercury, should talk to their doctor before receiving the vaccination. In 2020, it is expected that over 162 million vaccinations will be administered. For more information about the flu vaccine, visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.
The Role of Everyone
Overall, keeping your office healthy is the role of everyone. Each person needs to be proactive in keeping themselves protected with healthy habits, handwashing practices, and wiping down their high touch areas. We also should take care to protect others by covering our coughs and sneezes, staying isolated when we are sick, and doing our best to prevent the spread of all germs, including the flu virus.
Finally, we can all benefit from regular office cleaning services to sanitize common use areas and high touch spaces. This includes restrooms, breakrooms, cafeterias, desks, floors and more. Being diligent in keeping areas clean and with as little risk of exposure to germs is the main goal of regular, systematic office cleaning. During flu season, we all must take an active, and even proactive role in ensuring the spread of germs is at a minimum.
AAA Building Maintenance serves the Greater Denver area in the arena of professional office cleaning and more. Whether you need a one-and-done cleaning, or regular, on-going cleaning, AAA provides office cleaning services that exceed your expectations. Our range of services allow you to obtain the cleanliness and sanitization you require for your office space to reduce the spread of germs and disease. Call today to schedule your free quote at 303-716-2802.