EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO PROTECT YOUR OFFICE DURING FLU SEASON
If there’s anything we’ve learned over this past flu season, it’s that although the flu vaccine can help to varying degrees each year, it’s definitely not the only way to stop the spread of flu at work, school or any other public place. In addition to being a nuisance that blunts productivity, the flu can also kill people. Preventing the flu at work is extremely important because that’s one of the fastest places it can spread.
But the question remains: how to prevent the flu from spreading around your workplace?
When it comes to the flu, you need to have a comprehensive arsenal of preventative measures at hand, especially if you work in building with lots of people coming and going, sneezing and coughing, opening doors, eating, breathing and touching things, etc. Loyal Workplace Hygiene Solutions specializes in providing solutions that help keep your office, school, church, store, etc. more hygienic, so we know a thing or two about keeping those nasty flu microbes at bay. Here are 5 ways to prevent the flu at your workplace:
1. Insist Upon Clean Hands
Mom was right—wash your hands! And make sure everyone else does the same. The CDC reminds us that hand washing saves lives! Flu germs can spread easily when someone wipes their nose and then touches a doorknob, or the coffee pot handle, which then gets touched by the next unsuspecting person, who then picks up a piece of the communal pizza... It’s just that easy to get the flu, or any number of other diseases.
So never eat anything unless you’ve first washed your hands. Try not to touch your face. And always wash after using the toilet or blowing your nose. Avoid coughing into your hands too - cough into your elbow instead. It’s the right thing to do.
During flu season, Loyal can make sure that your bathroom and breakroom handwashing stations are constantly ready for duty, full of soap and paper towels. We can also install and maintain hand sanitizing stations throughout the office at critical points throughout the workplace to further decrease the hand-to-object-to-hand-to-mouth spread of germs.
2. Wipe Everything Down
What’s dirtier than a toilet seat? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it can save a few lives and weeks of lost work… your phone and your computer keyboard beat out the toilet seat in germy-ness. We touch these things all day long and then touch other things that other people touch, then we rub our eyes, lick the BBQ sauce off our fingers, shake hands, touch door knobs… it’s horrifying, quite frankly. It’s no wonder the flu goes viral every year, particularly in workplaces and public areas.
In addition to hand-washing supplies, Loyal can provide a host of surface cleaning solutions that help reduce germ spread on objects as well. Just contact us and let’s discuss ways to improve your office surface sanitation situation.
3. Stay Home
Encourage your employees, students or other patrons to stay home if they are experiencing any flu symptoms. Seriously, there is no glory in fighting the flu at work. Workers will recover faster and lose less work time overall when they can stay in bed and get the proper rest and care—and they won’t be in the office coughing all over the place and touching things (see above).
4. Encourage Immune-Boosting Habits in the Workplace
Prevention is so much better than mucking through a week or two of flu symptoms. So, in addition to going for the sanitation angle, which is essential, make a big push to promote healthy, immune-boosting habits in your workplace. You could even have some office competitions to see who can:
Circulate a healthy-living newsletter with quick-nutrition tips and fixes for folks who have very little time to play around in the kitchen. Let your colleagues know that including more of these foods in their diet could help boost their immune systems: garlic, ginger, chicken or beef broth, blueberries, leafy greens, citrus fruits, broccoli, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and salmon.
5. Try Diffusing Essential Oils
While this is an area of ongoing research, recent studies have shown that some essential oils do, indeed, seem to have antiviral properties. Instead of just killing the virus, they seem to blunt the virus’ ability to replicate proteins that help it spread—making it hard to get a foothold in your respiratory system. The specific essential oil mixture tested in this study included essential oils of orange peel, cinnamon bark, clove bud, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary and others.
Loyal has a wide range of air freshening and odor control products for the workplace that may also help douse the effectiveness of flu particles flying in the air. They also disseminate a pleasant aroma that can boost moods and eliminate stinky odors to keep everyone, employees and clients included, much happier and more productive.
This year, do everything you can to help your customers, students, patrons and yourself stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu virus! Contact Loyal Workplace Hygiene Solutions at (703) 361-7888 for a customized consultation about how to keep your workplace cleaner and healthier every day.
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