In sickness and in health…professionals are coming to work. And you could be sitting right next to them wondering, “How in the world am I going to prevent the flu when this person looks like they belong in a NyQuil commercial?”
Sick? Stay Home
With a limited number of sick days, workers feel pressured to go to the office while under the weather. In fact, a new survey tells us that 85% of employees admit to doing so. Whether they feel guilty about letting the coworkers down, worried about work piling up, or just don’t want to ‘burn’ a sick day, it’s bad for business.
An article in Bloomberg points out, “Presenteeism—showing up at work ill, whether they’re contagious or not—costs companies about $150 billion a year, one study estimated. A worker is about a third as productive when he’s slumped in a desk chair working at half-speed as he is when he’s healthy, say researchers.”
With the ability to telecommute, a lot of businesses are saying, “STAY HOME.” Losing one day is better than affecting the entire team. Often people are contagious from the day before they realize they’re sick to about five days after.
Tips to Prevent the Flu
Make a point to heed these tips at the office
1. Wash Up with Soap and Water
Did you know that the typical office desk can have 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat?!
The quickest way to clear away germs is by washing your hands regularly. Doorknobs, telephones, elevator buttons, computer keyboards, water fountain buttons and even the refrigerator door in the office break room can host millions of germs and bacteria at any given time. Disinfect these objects often and then wash up.
By washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, you can protect yourself from germs that cause the common cold and avoid spreading illness to others.
2. Keep Your Distance
Sneeze droplets can travel as far as six feet. These droplets can get in your mouth or nose if you breathe them in; if you hear a sneeze. Duck! At least keep your distance if you notice a co-worker is coughing, sneezing or sniffling; that’s how diseases spread.
3. Get Prepared
These germs can also sit on objects near you. If you touch something that’s contaminated, avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose…or you may likely get sick. Place tissues and hand sanitizer everywhere to subtly encourage others at the office to use them, too.
4. Be Well
Best practices for wellness include: staying hydrated, reducing stress, exercising, eating whole foods and getting enough sleep.
In addition, lose the extra booze. Alcohol interferes with sleep quality which can directly impact your immune system. These are all simple ways to keep you healthy and productive through the entire cold and flu season.
5. Get the Flu Shot
And, of course, the easiest and surest way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. And because the influenza viruses change every season, it’s important to get vaccinated every year.
Stay Healthy and Prevent the Flu with eMedical Urgent Care
Win the war against germs this winter and prevent the flu at work. If a coworker comes to work sick, remind them to stay home. Or just send them a link to our blog.