“Flu Season” is upon us, and it is important for employers to be aware of the damaging effects a workplace flu outbreak can have on employee health and wellness and workplace productivity. Fortunately, implementing a few simple, economic steps to encouraging proper hygienic practices and discouraging behaviors that spread infectious diseases can help mitigate the damaging effects of flu season in your workplace.

First, it is important to communicate with your employees and remind them of the steps they can take to maintain a healthy workplace. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a number of informative, free-to-use hand hygiene posters that can be printed with a basic office printer on standard letter paper. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has a guide to seasonal flu available to both workers and employers.

 

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has also offered suggestions to its members on how to effectively prevent your employees from spreading the flu at work. Some of SHRM’s suggestions include minimizing face-to-face meetings during the height of flu season, making disinfectants available in areas where shared equipment and devices – such as computers, telephones, and break room facilities – are present, and providing facial tissues to employees in common areas.