The flu season always causes stress and anxiety as everyone tries to power through the busy work period and avoid the years’ circulating viruses. It’s worth taking some important precautions as the cold weather sets in to make sure your facility works at optimal productivity levels and everyone within it is safe and healthy. Here are 7 ways that you can make sure the flu season doesn’t bring you down this year!
1. Always remember to wash your hands.
Implement signage in Washrooms for proper handwashing to ensure employees and customers are trained and prepared for the flu season ahead. Signage should include infographics for handwashing so employees as well as customers or residents are reminded how to thoroughly wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds to avoid contamination. Rinsing and drying hands completely with a paper towel can reduce 77% of bacteria. Promote the use of hand sanitizers when soap is not available as well as instructions for avoiding frequent contact between hands and face. Taking these precautions can limit the spread of viruses in all facilities.
Maintain an effective cleaning program with emphasis on disinfection, especially of critical touch points such as door handles, light switches, telephones, keyboards…etc… Germs can live on surfaces for up to 48hours to ensuring routine maintenance and cleaning is a priority during flu season.
3. Keep it green to keep it clean.
Use green cleaning solutions that benefit the indoor environment. This limits stress on your immune system so that it is able to fight off viruses and germs. With the use of green solutions, the indoor air quality will increase thus keeping those within the building healthy and safe.
4. Empower others to stay healthy!
A healthy environment starts with those that occupy it. Keeping everyone aware of the practices they can adopt to ensure they stay healthy is a great way to prevent the spread of viruses during flu season. Informing others about the importance of a good night’s sleep, the benefits of drinking lots of water, and eating healthy can increase productivity and provide employees, customers, residents or anyone else within the facility with higher resilience to germs.
5. Establish a routine maintenance program
A routine maintenance program means that certain areas such as critical touch points, floors, and washrooms are cleaned on a daily basis. Routine maintenance reduces the amount of germs, bacteria, and dust on surfaces to ensure a healthy and safe environment. It also lends to the longevity of your facility and ultimately, cost savings. Routine maintenance can go a long way in making sure that quick cleanups don’t slip through the cracks so that all potential germs are swept and removed as soon as they hit the ground.
6. Staying home might actually help get more work done
Missing work is always a source of frustration and anxiety but it might actually help the facility if employees are encouraged to stay home when experiencing flu symptoms. In fact, a National Post article claims that many experts estimate that the loss of productivity from presenteeism is at least three time higher than the productivity lost from absenteeism. Presenteeism occurs when workers go to work despite not being able to function at their full capacity. Not only does this reduce productivity and create higher labour costs for employers but it also results in spread of germs and therefore greater loss of productivity. Staying home allows for workers to recuperate and return at their optimal performance while reducing the chance of spreading viruses.
7. Be prepared by implementing a pandemic program and checklist
Implementing a pandemic program basically entails educating all staff so that they are aware of what symptoms to look out for, how to go about protecting themselves, and how to access all the updates and information they may need to know in the future. Pandemic programs should include policies, procedures, programs, and materials so that employees are educated about pandemic fundamentals. Each employee should also receive their individual pandemic kit with hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes for the workstation, nitrile gloves, and surgical mask. Using checklists for staying healthy during the flu season is a great way to ensure that the pandemic program is being implemented and followed by everyone to contribute to the overall well being of the facility.