15 things your office needs to preemptively combat flu season

15 things your office needs to preemptively combat flu season

As the weather gets colder, you may start hearing coughs and sniffles around the office. More and more people are missing days of work—not for fun and rejuvenating vacations, but to stay home recovering on the couch. Getting the flu is uncomfortable for your employees and inconvenient for you. Luckily, there are numerous ways to combat the spread of germs in the office.

  1. Hand sanitizer

    This is perhaps one of the most important purchase you can make to combat the flu. People may not take the time to go to the bathroom and wash their hands, but if you provide hand sanitizer in convenient places, they’ll usually use it.

    And, of course, accessible hand sanitizer is an especially important part of any well-designed medical office waiting room, where the need to prevent the spread of germs becomes even more critical.

  2. Offer time off for healthcare

    Doctor consulting with her patient

    Many people put off visiting their doctor or other medical professionals because they don’t want to use their vacation time and these offices are often only open during work hours. Consider offering your employees some separate time for routine checkups, while not having that time count against their sick or vacation time.

  3. Hand soap

    Make it easy for your employees to stay clean by keeping the hand soap stocked in the bathrooms. Nobody likes trying to wash their hands only to be met with an empty dispenser, and it’s an easy way for germs to spread.

  4. Disinfecting wipes

    Many businesses have surfaces that are touched by numerous people in a given day, such as a coffee pot. It can be a great idea to provide disinfecting wipes so that people can keep them clean and sanitary.

  5. Air sanitizer spray

    Many germs are airborne, and a quick squirt of a sanitizing spray can both leave your office space smelling clean, and reduce those contaminants.

  6. Gloves

    If you work in a profession where people regularly come into contact with others’ bodies, it’s a good idea to have exam gloves on hand. This is of course expected at medical facilities, but may also be appropriate for welders, electrical workers and people who interact with food, to name a few.

  7. Opportunities to exercise

    Woman running on treadmill

    When people keep moving, their bodies are stronger and better able to fight off germs. Consider partnering with a gym to offer an employee discount, adding a small workout space with shared exercise equipment, or encouraging walking meetings to keep people moving.

  8. Sanitizing wipe packets

    We’re getting all our “sanitizing” bases covered here. In addition to a large canister of wipes for public spaces, you can also pass out some personal wipes packets to each employee for them to keep at their desk. When wipes are right at the tip of their fingers, they’re more likely to use them and keep their space clean.

  9. Emergen-C

    This drink mix offers a dose of Vitamins C and B, which helps to boost people’s immune system. Emergen-C can prevent employees from getting sick or help them get healthy again faster. Airborne is another popular remedy that proves effective in stopping colds.

  10. Keyboard cleaner

    A number of studies have found that keyboards hold five times as many germs as toilet seats. Keep your office cleaner by offering keyboard duster spray cans for anyone who needs one.

  11. Healthy snacks

    Many offices regularly bring in donuts or other baked goods. While these can be delicious, they aren’t very healthy. Humans need the nutrients in fruits and vegetables to fight off illness, so consider offering some healthy snacks in the break room.

  12. Flu vaccine

    Health professional administering flu shot to patient

    Okay, so this one is kind of obvious! The flu vaccine is updated every year, so people need to be vaccinated annually. If you can manage it, it can be helpful to offer the vaccine in the office, so people don’t need to seek out a provider or take time off work.

  13. Tea

    This healthy beverage is comforting and sometimes can boost the immune system. Some varieties even have a light caffeinating effect. Having tea on hand for all of your employees is an affordable way to help them stay healthy.

  14. Tissue boxes

    When your employees are under the weather, but not quite sick enough to stay home, they’ll need to be able to blow their nose. Make it easy by providing tissue boxes.

  15. Cough drops

    You can also make your under-the-weather colleagues feel a bit better by providing cough drops. Added bonus: they’ll be coughing less, which means less chance of transferring their illness to their coworkers.

If you try these items and put in a little extra effort to make your office a clean and healthy space, you’ll reap the rewards in fewer sick days and happier employees.

Make sure you follow us on social media for more great office tips and smart ways to boost your health at work.