When winter arrives, the cold and flu tend to go around like wildfire. If one employee ends up with an illness, it isn't too long before half of your workers are out. The best thing you can do is prevent illness and try to keep sick employees from giving their virus to others. Here are some tips for battling illness in the workplace.
Clean and Disinfect the Office
One of the best hings you can do to prevent winter illness in the workplace is by keeping it as clean as possible. Hire office cleaning contractors to come in regularly to clean and disinfect all surfaces. This will reduce dust, dirt, dander, and bacteria that tends to float in the area and stick to surfaces. Make sure the cleaning company not only does basic cleaning, like the bathrooms and vacuuming floors, but works hard to disinfect surfaces like desks, telephones, and door handles. Also encourage employees to keep disinfectant wipes at their desk and wipe surfaces often.
Send Ill Employees Home
While it's great to have employees who are willing to work even when they are under the weather, it isn't great for business. That one employee can unintentionally spread their germs around and you end up with five employees calling in sick instead of just one. Have a rule in the workplace that if an employee has an illness that causes them to be contagious, they should remain home until they are no longer contagious. For example, someone with the flu is contagious until they start taking antibiotics. If you notice employees showing signs of illness, such as coughing, sneezing, and fever, ask if they would go home until they feel better.
Set Workplace Wellness Rules
It is also a good idea to start a new policy that helps to keep employees well and prevent the spreading of germs and bacteria. Start by putting signs in all bathrooms, requiring employees to wash their hands with soap and warm water after using the restroom. While the hope is that they already do this, the reminder helps. Also provide antibacterial soap for employees to keep at their desk. If they use them often and always keep their hands clean, they have a good chance at not getting ill. Make sure employees know to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. Reminding employees is never a bad thing. Also encourage employees not to touch their mouth or nose too much, as their hands could have touched a door handle with cold bacteria that will now get them sick.