As business managers and owners, we’re used to watching costs. We track our department expenses, office space and equipment costs, and some of us even guard the thermostat with a tricked out lock system! But what about the expenses that are “snot” so easy to track?
I’m talking of course about the cold, flu, and crud that goes around this season. Consider this statistic from the CDC:
Each year, on average, 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illness. This costs an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually. (CDC Website)
And that’s just the flu. Think about how many times you’ve had to send someone home because of some other office crud. It’s expensive and good business owners and managers are responsible for providing a better environment for our employees and customers.
Put a stop to snot.
It’s our responsibility to encourage healthy practices in the workplace. One way is by making it easy for employees to stay home when they’re sick – we don’t want them to pass on the snot! Offer the option to work from home or provide sick pay so your employees are motivated by recuperation instead of the financial burden of being out of the office.
Of course, prevention is key, so also consider these important tips:
- Wipe it. Use a disinfectant – such as microban or a vinegar and water mix – to clean all hand touched surfaces before, during and after work. Don’t forget the coffee pot, either!
- Flu shots. Encourage your employees to get a flu shot. Make it easy by making it free or reduced cost – and pay for their time to get the shot!
- Clean the carpets and upholstery. Think of everything that gets tracked into your office. Without regular maintenance, that crud stays in the carpet and can aggravate allergies or invite other unwelcome illness.
- Filters. Change the furnace filter to increase the airflow and trap the dust that contain pollutants and bacteria.
- Fresh air. Get fresh air into your building when possible. The air quality inside buildings can become contaminated and stale, so replacing with fresh air helps act as a filter.
We’re here to help.
You may think it strange to get an email from us about flu and cold prevention. But you know what? That’s what makes us different – we’re not just selling you our services. Of course, if you do find your home or office has been damaged by water, fire, or wind, we hope you’ll think of us first.