It’s officially Autumn! Although it feels unseasonably warm now, cooler weather is on its way and with that comes cold and flu season!
How can the flu impact your workforce? What can you do to help prepare your employees and encourage wellbeing?
THE IMPACT OF THE FLU
Not only is the flu a threat to our health, but also to the wellbeing and productivity of our organisations.
Your company culture should make employees feel comfortable staying home when sick. Although some may consider coming to work regardless of how you feel a show of dedication, it can actually be very counterproductive! When your employees feel under the weather they are often less productive, they risk spreading illness to colleagues, and they can be hindering their own recovery by not taking time to get well.
ENCOURAGING WELLBEING DURING FLU SEASON
The flu vaccine is considered the most effective way to protect from the flu. NSW Health recommends everyone ages 6 months and older who want to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with flu get a flu vaccine annually. With flu season generally beginning in April and peaking between June and August, NSW Health encourages vaccination during autumn months.
As part of your workplace wellbeing efforts you can consider offering an on-site flu shot clinic to make it quick and easy for your employees to get the vaccine.
What else can you do to prepare your workforce?
- Educate employees about flu symptoms, how the virus is spread, and what they can do to prevent getting sick. Also, help make sure they understand the difference between colds and the flu.
- Encourage increased hygiene. Though it seems like common sense to cover your coughs and sneezes and to wash your hands often, they are still important reminders. The flu can be spread through these methods even before you start feeling symptoms. Keep disinfecting wipes handy to clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, keyboards, and phones. Provide tissues, hand sanitisers, and other supplies to promote healthy hygiene.
- Communicate with employees to review company policies regarding sick leave and working from home. You don’t want sick employees coming into the workplace and risking the health of coworkers, so make sure they know their options. If your organization wants to encourage working from home when not feeling well, make sure to arm employees with the necessary technology for working remotely.
Help foster employee well-being by encouraging healthy behaviours this flu season!