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Surviving Cold And Flu Season In The Office

As the change of season comes, you start to hear more sniffles, nose blowing and coughing around the office.  It can take no time at all for a cold or flu bug to rip through, leading to an increase in sick days and a decrease in office output.  It’s also no fun being laid up with a nasty cold or flu, so here are some preventative tips to reduce the spread of nasty cold and flu germs in the office and also create a safe, comfortable workplace for your employees.

Pop up some signs and posters around the office; the key is to educate, not patronise.  You want people to think twice before sneezing all over their computer screen and preferably sneeze, or cough into their elbow if they don’t have tissues or a handkerchief.

Have your facilities manager or cleaning supervisor check for any drafts or leaks in the building.  This can help reduce sickness and create a comfortable environment for your employees.  It also pays to check for issues at the start of winter, rather than dealing with a damaging roof leak in the middle of a storm.

Take a look at the air-conditioning for the building too, as winter comes it will need to be adjusted to keep your staff from freezing and walking around wearing their coats.  It’s surprising just how many buildings leave it too long to adjust the temperature.

Floors, particularly stairs and entry points can become extremely slippy on rainy days, and mud and debris are trodden in.  Speak to your cleaner about extra surface cleans in lobby’s and reception areas, make sure you have the appropriate wet floor hazard signs and think about installing an umbrella bag system. An umbrella bag system is quick and easy to use, preventing water dripping through the building and staining your office carpet.

Give the office a thorough clean up before winter hits.  Ask your teams to dispose of any clutter and have the cleaners defrost and clean all of your fridges.  Winter usually means an increase in Tupperware pots and food brought into the office full of soups and warm meals. Think about a clean-out policy where every Friday what is left in the fridge is binned, to stop people eating old food, or fridges becoming over stuffed.

Pop some packets of tissues and hand sanitisers in shared areas of the business for staff to take, not only are you offering a staff benefit, but you will immediately see people using the products regularly, reducing the chance of a nasty bug taking hold in the office.  You may also want to consider offering the flu shot too.  There are mobile services who offer flu shots and can come to your office.

It doesn’t cost much to get your business ready for winter, and your staff will appreciate that you are making every effort to ensure that they don’t get sick.  If you are time poor, you can even get a ‘winter committee’ together to implement these initiatives for you, which will also add to the positive engagement from your staff.  Just a few minor changes can make a real difference to the happiness and productivity of your employees over cold and flu season!

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