Flu Season Ahead


100 million work days were lost to the flu during the last flu season. That’s an estimated $10 billion in loss! And this doesn’t even cover days lost to employees’ needing to stay home or leave early to care for loved ones with the flu. So how does this happen?

Germs Spread:

  • The average adult brings their fingers to the nose, mouth or eyes about 16 times an hour.
  • Coffee pot handles were some of the first places the virus spread.
  • A workspace with plastic and Formica surfaces and a grooved keyboard offers a hospitable environment for germs.
  • A light switch – common respiratory viruses can survive on a surface for a maximum of two to four days.
  • Returning to work before 5 days have passed increases the likelihood of transmitting or even contracting the flu all over again.

Tips for Employees:

You know when you are beginning to feel sick. You woke up with a sore throat and a fever. You’ve started to sneeze, a few sniffles are apparent…

Time to take action!

Let common sense rule. Be careful what you touch and take extra precaution to avoid possibly infecting others. Use tissues, wash your hands repeatedly, and avoid touching general usage areas unless you know your hands are clean. Use disinfectant wipes on your phone, door-handle, key board, and desktop. Don’t shake hands with others. If possible, try to keep some distance between you and your colleagues. Work in a separate office space if you have it, or if your role allows, work remotely to keep your germs out of the office.

The next stage

Now you are really sick…stay home! Follow the standard care procedures: rest, fluids, more rest. Are you contagious? Not sure? See the doctor. Get an Rx, if needed and be sure to follow up with the doctor afterwards.

Other Considerations:

  • If you have medical coverage, check with your carrier, a seasonal flu shot might be covered.
  • If you don’t have coverage, check local pharmacy chains, they advertise inexpensive, no-waiting flu shots.
  • If you are out of sick time – speak to your manager or human resource personnel, you may be able to use vacation or personal time.

Compass Workforce Solutions can help – we can assist you in managing your workforce and in creating human policies for the realities of life. Call our office; speak to a human resource professional about your company’s policies or employee handbook. Write to us: info@compasswfs.com or visit our website compasswfs.com

This is not legal advice and will not cover all situations and circumstances.