A business can’t get the flu -- only people can. And this flu season has been a doozy so far and isn’t expected to subside anytime soon. There have been misery and even deaths for those who’ve caught the illness. And one report predicts that when it’s over, the flu will have cost U.S. businesses more than $9.4 billion in lost productivity.
What can you do in your business to minimize the impact of the flu on your staff and your bottom line?
The CDC recommends that people experiencing symptoms should stay home and not go to work. They should remain home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone.
Workers may struggle to show up even if experiencing symptoms if they lose pay for staying out. Review your sick pay policy (and state law) to ensure that your employees won’t come in when ill and infect others. In re-examining your sick pay policy, consider the cost of the sick pay versus the loss of productivity when the flu spreads among your staff.
And there are some other actions you can take to minimize any risk of passing along the flu in your workplace, including:
- Supplying hand sanitizers
- Avoiding shaking hands
- Allowing employees to work from home
With many more weeks left of the flu season, it’s not too late to become proactive.
Find more tips from OSHA on precautions for all workers during flu season.