How to Prevent the Spread of Germs During Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again where flu season is upon us, and it can feel like employees and coworkers drop like flies as they succumb to colds and the flu.We all know how it starts, someone coughs and touches the phone, then someone else touches the phone, then they come down with a cold and they sneeze in the kitchen…Even worse, a flu virus can live and potentially infect people for up to 48 hours after being left behind on a surface according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means that disinfectants are key when it comes to keeping a workplace free of the flu virus – and you might want to think about how well equipped your workplace is to deal with these viruses.So, how you do you prevent the spread of these germs during cold and flu season? Below we’ve compiled our best tips on how to protect your facility this winter season:Frequentlyclean touched surfaces and objects, such as keyboards, doorknobs and phones will reduce the spread of the germs in common areas. Although it is impossible to completely reduce the risk of the flu virus, maintain a work space that practices and expects high standards of cleanliness is just good business sense.Providingplenty of tissues, soap and hand sanitizer for employee use is key. Keeping these in communal areas and encouraging employees to also keep these items at their desk will go a long way to prevent the spread of the virus.Avoid stacking coats and jackets all in the same place at the office. If you have a communal cloakroom for employees to hang their items, think about suggesting your employees keep these at their desks during cold and flu season.Make sure the office is getting properly ventilated during this time of year to ensure that germs aren’t lurking in the air. Even opening a window for a short period would work to ensure that your workplace receives a breath of fresh air – literally.Offer your employees information as to where they can receive flu vaccinations to help them get through the season. After all, prevention is often the best line of defense.Wash your hands! A quick memo reminding team members to wash their hands before and after eating, especially when they’re in communal areas such as the kitchen, would help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses. Flu commonly transmits from the hands to the mouth, so this one is doubly important!For more information on what OpenWorks can do to help keep your workplace clean, safe and healthy during these winter months, check out our website here.

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