How to Prepare Your Business for Flu Season

Posted by Employer Flexible on January 13, 2020
Employer Flexible

Flu season is here. Unfortunately, far too few businesses have invested heavily in combating the flu season as part of their risk management plans. One case of the flu where an employee comes to work while infected can spread through your entire staff like wildfire — eradicating productivity and making your office look like a ghost of Christmas past.

Don’t let that be your story this flu season. Change the message entirely by proactively seeking to eliminate this risk for your business. Here are a few things you can do to help you better prepare for the flu season this season and beyond.

Offer Flu Shots at Work

While you cannot legally compel workers to get influenza shots, you can make the decision a no-brainer for most of them by offering free flu shots to employees and bringing someone into the office to administer them. If you provide health insurance, chances are the shots are free. You only need to find someone able to administer them at your business. 

The easier it is for employees to get the shots, the fewer excuses they have not to do so. While there may be some who decline for possible interactions with other required medications, a simple lack of interest, or other reasons, by removing the objections of cost and inconvenience, you ensure many more people in your work space are taking advantage of these vital vaccinations.

Grant Time Off for Flu Shots

Allow employees to go get their flu shots on company time. It may be that you can’t budget bringing someone in to provide flu shots to employees. That doesn’t mean you can’t allow employees to arrive late or leave early to get flu shots. Obviously, they can only do this once per season and not every Friday. However, it is a goodwill gesture many employees will take advantage of, making your office a healthier space to work this flu season.

Encourage Employees to Work from Home or Take Time Off if They Have Flu Symptoms

Sometimes, employees wait until they are absolutely certain they have flu before calling off work. This means they could have infected many other employees while waiting to discover if they have the flu or some other condition. Discourage this by reminding employees of other options available to them, including:

  • Sick leave

  • Paid time off

  • Working from home

The ore options available to employees, the less likely they are to come in while sick and risk spreading the condition around the office.

Educate Employees About Paid Time Off Policies and Risks of Spreading Flu

Educate your employees about your paid time off policies or sick days so that they do not rush to return to work until they are no longer contagious. Remind them that you appreciate their dedication in wanting to return quickly but would rather them recover fully before returning to work, so they are ready to return, and so that they do not inadvertently infect others.  

Be Dedicated in Efforts to Clean

This isn’t just about making sure surfaces, even computer keyboards, are disinfected daily. It’s also about ensuring that there are plenty of places where hand sanitizer, soap, water, and paper towels are available for basic hygiene. After all, clean hands are the first line of defense against flu and countless other winter bugs, viruses, and colds.

Flu season is upon us. But that doesn’t mean it has to wind its way through your business staff. Putting these steps into motion can greatly reduce its impact on your organization.

Preparing your business for flu season in one or more of the above ways not only benefits your organization but your employees and their families too. Contact Employer Flexible for other risk management solutions or services to streamline your human resources needs. 


Topics: Productivity, Employee Benefits