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Stop The Flu Spreading At Work

2/27/18
Grainger Editorial Staff

This year’s flu season is the worst in almost ten years. But if you didn't get your flu shot, don't despair—there are some simple things you can still do to protect yourself and keep your people healthy and on-task. (And you still might want to get that vaccination.)

Clean your workspace.

Start with doorknobs, handles, railings, microwaves, telephones, break room surfaces—anything that many people will touch during the day. Make cleaning wipes and products easily available for anyone who wants to pitch in.

Get more tips on cleaning and disinfecting in the workplace.

If they're sick, send 'em home.

When people come to work sick, they may think that they're being team players. They don't want to take time off and make others pick up the slack. But really, the opposite is true: They're exposing their co-workers to their germs and bringing everyone down with them. Take a stand against working sick.

Wash your hands—and dry them. 

If water is available, make sure there's plenty of soap (it doesn't need to be "antibacterial"; plain old soap will do). Make sure there's a hand dryer or other way to dry your hands, too: they pick up viruses much more easily when they're wet.

If there's no water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will help, though it won't get rid of all germs. Look for one that's at least 60% alcohol.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

It is your responsibility to think about others and help prevent the spread of colds and the flu. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze to ensure that you are not spreading the flu to another person. Use a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve if one is not available.

Reschedule company get-togethers.

A happy hour or birthday lunch can be a great way to build team spirit—and a great way to pass around a nasty cold or flu. If people on your team are sick, consider postponing any planned social events or celebrations. 

Get vaccinated.

It's not too late. According to the CDC, everyone above the age of six months should be vaccinated against the flu. It will take about two weeks for the vaccine to work.

More information:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/health/flu-rates-deaths.html

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170519-does-it-matter-how-you-wash-and-dry-your-hands

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

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