Body aches, chills, congestion, dehydration, fatigue, fever, sneezing, sweating…

This long list of highly undesirable symptoms may sound like the side effects listed in the latest pharmaceutical ad, but they are actually the most common symptoms of the flu. Not interested? Me neither.

Each year, roughly 5-20% of US residents get the flu – but this doesn’t have to include your workforce. Taking the appropriate measures to prevent the flu in your office will keep your people healthy and productive.

How Will the Flu Affect My Business?

  • Reduced workforce
  • Lost sales opportunities
  • Customer service issues
  • Backlogged work

Protecting Yourself and Your Business

Here are 4 ways you can help mitigate the risk of a flu outbreak at your office:

  1. Get a flu shot and encourage the workforce to do so as well. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before the flu begins to spread in your community since it takes about 2 full weeks after vaccination for protection from the flu. While it’s not 100% effective, it is the best way to protect against flu infection.
  2. Wash your hands often. Germs are everywhere. Make sure you’re doing your part in reducing the spread of infectious or harmful germs by washing your hands, especially at work, the gym, grocery stores, or any public place. Also, be sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. This should go without saying, but reminders never hurt. Be sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue (or your elbow, if you’re desperate) instead of using your hands. And of course, be sure to wash your hands after blowing your nose (see #2!).
  4. Stay home if you are sick. The flu spreads like wildfire. Don’t be ~that~ guy who comes into the office coughing, sneezing, and feverish. It’s a “lose-lose situation” for everyone involved – you don’t want to be there, and your coworkers don’t want you to be there getting everyone else sick. If your company allows it, work from home instead. Everyone will thank you. It’s better to have one person out for a few days than multiple employees out for weeks.

If you need help planning for pandemic influenza, download Preparis’ Flu Checklist or the Reduced Workforce Tabletop Exercise.

If you would like more information on how Preparis can help keep your business up and running this flu season, click here.