Influenza is a common illness that affects many Australian workers, especially during the colder winter months. The symptoms of influenza can take a number of days to appear, sometimes up to three days and it can spread quickly through normal everyday interactions and contact. It’s often the case that a person will contract influenza without knowing it and spread it around to colleagues, friends, family and customers before they even know they’re sick. Many people will take several days off a year in sick leave due to contracting influenza, which can heavily impact on the productivity of workplaces. Corporate flu shots can help to stem the spread of the illness and prevent it from impacting the workplace in such a negative way. Here are a few things you should know:
What is influenza?
Influenza is a virus which is highly contagious and impacts on every part of the body. It can be transmitted prior to symptoms appearing and can cause severe complications for people with underlying health conditions; it is responsible for many deaths a year. It spreads by contact, people with the virus can spread it by touching the things around them.
Common symptoms of the flu include coughing, sneezing, fatigue, fever, chills, headache and muscle aches and joint pain. The flu can take one to three days to incubate before symptoms appear and symptoms will generally last for between three days to one week although it can take up to two weeks for people to recover.
There’s a vaccine
The good news for workplaces is that corporate flu shots exist and they’re a great way to dramatically reduce the impact of influenza on the work place. They are highly effective and can help to prevent the spread of illness. To get best results corporate flu shots should be administered in the spring a few months before winter to give the vaccine the time it needs to stimulate antibody production to fight the illness.
How corporate flu shots can benefit your company
So why are corporate flu shots worth it? Businesses that utilise them in their workplaces will find that there are a number of great advantages including a drop in workplace absenteeism, a reduction in time off for medical appointments, improved performance, creation of a herd immunity environment and well as a happier, healthier workforce.
How else you can stop the spread
Whilst corporate flu shots are the easiest way to stop the spread of influenza in the workplace, there are other things you can also do to protect your workers. A great place to start is by ensuring your work environment is well equipped with items for health and hygiene such as hand sanitiser, tissues, anti-bacterial wipes, soap and disinfectant. Santising surfaces and encouraging employees to regularly wash their hands can help to stop the virus from travelling from employee to employee. You should encourage staff to wipe down their equipment after use and to keep their work areas clean as this can help to prevent other employees from picking up the contagion from surfaces. The best places to focus on include door knobs and handles, as well as common areas such as the kitchen. You should also wipe down and clean equipment that is shared amongst workers such as the photocopier or microwave as these are common places for people to touch and possibly pick up a new illness. Telephones and keyboards should also be wiped down. The best way to ensure that employees are keeping hygiene in mind is to post reminders around key areas such as in bathrooms or kitchens.