Chamber Chat - Flu Season

Jan 28

I want to thank Tom Snell with OneDigital Health and Benefits for being our guest Chamber Chat contributor for this article. I think you will find his information helpful for keeping your employees healthy:

Each year, influenza has an impact on workers across the country.

I hate getting sick, and I am pitiful when ill. But getting sick with the flu is the worst. Although your employees may feel as though their job is critical, or they’ve used up their sick leave, remind them to consider others before coming to work sick. If they have the flu or flu-like symptoms, caution them to limit their contact with others and connect with their doctor.

Do you know what’s better than treating flu symptoms? Staying flu-free.

Here are a few ways you can help your employees stay healthy this cold and flu season.

Set Up a Flu Shot Clinic in Your Workplace

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six-months and older get a flu shot. Create an environment where your employees are encouraged to be proactive about preventive healthcare. You can schedule on-site flu clinics, as well as promote and educate your employees about flu shots. Contact your OneDigital service team for more information about setting up employee vaccinations.

Remind Employees to Wash Their Hands Frequently

Make sure soap and water are available and even consider distributing alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the workplace. Employees can also use alcohol-based wipes to disinfect door knobs, phones and keyboards especially if there are shared workspaces.

Educate Workers About Influenza Signs and Symptoms

Post educational materials in your office break room. The CDC provides free materials that you can easily display and distribute in your office. To view the full list of flu symptoms, visit the CDC’s website. Caution your employees that the only way to truly know if they have the flu is to visit a doctor who can run the necessary laboratory tests.

Allow Workplace Flexibility

Technology makes it easier than ever for employees to work remotely, depending on their job function and remote capabilities. If an employee is sick, consider allowing them to work from home instead of using a sick day. You might also consider offering personal days for your employees to use for doctor’s appointments, checkups, attending kids’ activities, etc. Some employers are able to offer their employees “use as you need PTO” also known as unlimited paid time off. Ultimately, making your workplace flexible can help keep your employees happy and healthy (and also has a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line).

Foster a Culture that Values Employee Well-Being

We all know that employees are more productive when they are healthy and happy. By creating an office culture where your employees feel comfortable staying home if they are sick, you’re showing them that personal health comes first. If your employees are feeling burnt-out, offer a “mental health” day to provide a chance to recharge and return to work refreshed. Encourage employees to leave early if they are sick. Allowing this flexibility can often result in a quicker recovery and keeps the rest of your employees from getting sick.

Thanks again, Tom, for providing us great tips on keeping our employees healthy and productive!

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