Winter Is Coming: Protecting Yourself And Your Staff During Flu Season

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It’s almost the holiday season and for many of us, the most wonderful time of the year. There’s nothing like having friends and family around as you all share in the spirit of the season. 

Do you know what’s not so wonderful? Germs and Viruses, specifically influenza. The virus that causes flu is around us all the time, but the holidays present the perfect combination of factors that allow it to travel, spread and sicken thousands every year.

Even worse, COVID-19 remains a significant underlying threat.

The average employee spends between 36 and 42 hours at work every week. Given that the influenza virus can live for up to 8 hours on some surfaces, it’s a prime place to pick up bugs.

Protection against flu is important

You may believe catching the flu is a foregone conclusion because you get it every year.

Whilst your symptoms may be mild, you may spread it to someone with a compromised immune system for whom it could be fatal.

An office full of sick employees also affects productivity. Employees will spend an average of 4 days at home with the flu. Once someone gets sick, the domino effect could keep multiple workers out for an extended period.

What can you do?

Given the health issues and costs to everyone involved, it makes sense to invest in measures to keep the office healthy.

If you’re an individual working in an office:

Watch those hands

We all have an unconscious tendency to touch parts of our faces without thinking about where our hands have been. Your eyes, nose, and mouth are body parts that are most vulnerable to viral infections.

If your company doesn’t provide them, carry hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. Pack antibacterial spray or wipes as well for quickly disinfecting and cleaning your work area as well. 

Don’t forget to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Reduce exposure

If you’re sitting next to someone who has obvious flu symptoms, avoid handling objects they touch as well as getting into close contact with them.

If you yourself are sick, protect others by staying home from work.

Boost your immunity

We can all use a little help, especially during flu season. Arrange to get your flu shot as soon as you can manage.

Supplement your diet with vitamins and other recommended nutrients as a preventative measure.

If you’re an employer:

Clean up

Set up a formal policy for cleaning your office regularly. In the course of things, dust, mold, and pathogens build up in a work environment on surfaces and in the closed central air system. If left unchecked, this build-up will fuel wave after wave of illness that could cripple operations during the winter season.

You can hire custodial staff or a company that specialises in this type of work. Your cleaning schedule will be influenced by the type of business you run. A busy, high-traffic retail store or restaurant will need to be cleaned more frequently than a secluded solicitor’s office that has few visitors.

If you’re hiring a company, ensure the cleaning materials they use are certified for use against influenza.

Provide clean-up material

Beyond a regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance, it’s a good idea to provide office staff with wipes, hand sanitisers, antibacterial soap, and the like in high-touch and high traffic locations.

This will encourage compliance with any office hygiene policies you put in place.

What IT Care Can Do For You

The flu doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of your holiday season. Being cautious and following common sense precautions should keep you safe at your office, and everywhere else. 

One common sense measure you can immediately implement is to sanitise each desk area. Several scientific studies have found that computer keyboards, mice and telephones are some of the most microbe laden areas in an office. Some of the germs they harbour include E.Coli, Streptococcus and Salmonella.

IT Care specialises in computer hygiene. We deep clean all of these areas using anti-bacterial agents without damaging your equipment. Beyond this, we help you set up a schedule of regular hygiene maintenance, including giving you the tools to protect your health between our scheduled visits.

If you’d like to set up a cleaning regime, but you’re unsure about how to go about it, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us at 0141-374-2869. Or check out our website for more great tips.

Wondering how to get your equipment properly clean?