This year’s flu season is already off to a rough start for many Americans. Years of the pandemic have heightened concerns around spreading illnesses. This has created a stressful situation for businesses that have already welcomed their teams back to the office. For employers wondering how to keep their teams healthy and comfortable through the next few months, we have some tips for you.
Although avoiding sickness this time of year can seem impossible, there are things you can do to keep your business environment clean. Here’s five ways to get your business ready for flu season:
1. Be Sure Your Building’s Air is Clean (and Not Creating Problems)
An important place to start is your building’s air. If your air isn’t clean, it can thwart all your other efforts. Your business’s air ducts can be a major source of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can cause your employees to feel sick even without the flu. If they are already run down from dealing with irritants in the air, this leaves them more vulnerable to catching other illnesses.
A building’s air ducts need to be cleaned at least every three years. Having them cleaned more often does keep your air that much cleaner and helps your team feel comfortable. Dirty air ducts can create the illusion that something is going around the office and cause unnecessary stress. You can risk everyone feeling sick and missing work for a preventable reason. Or, you can plan to have your air ducts cleaned ahead of the flu season (or as soon as possible if it’s already started).
2. Stock Up on Soap, Hand Sanitizer, and Tissues and Keep Them Readily Available
When sicknesses start circulating, everyone goes for the cleaning products. This can make it hard for offices and spaces that need larger amounts of them to keep them on hand. So, stock up on soap, hand sanitizer, and tissues now. Schedule regular shipments to arrive throughout the fall and winter. Post reminders around the office to encourage regular hand washing. Set up hand sanitizing stations in key, high-traffic areas.
Making sure there are plenty of tissues to go around and easy places to dispose of them can also keep germs contained. This may seem like a simple and obvious step, but it can make all the difference in keeping one sick person’s germs from contaminating the whole team.
3. Make a Plan for the Regular Cleaning and Sanitization of Surfaces to Get Your Business Ready for Flu Season
Did you know the flu virus can stay active for hours on some surfaces? Even if your team is cautious, someone can carry the flu without exhibiting symptoms. The best way to decrease the chances of transmission is to keep all the surfaces around the office clean and sanitized.
For day-to-day moments, you can place sanitizing wipes or sprays around the office and encourage their use. But not all these things are equally effective, nor can you count on every person to keep up with them. Hiring a professional company to provide thorough environmental cleaning on a regular basis ensures the highest level of cleanliness in your business.
At First Call, we remain up to date on all CDC, EPA and OSHA standards. We adhere to them to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations for disinfection. We offer either one-time cleaning or scheduled cleaning services for businesses of all sizes. This includes large-scale cleaning services for warehouses or medical facilities. Adding our weekly professional sanitization services to your own daily efforts is a solid plan to get your business ready for flu season. Once you are on our schedule, you can rest knowing your business environment will be pristine throughout the coming months.
4. Remind Your Team of the Current Company Protocols Regarding Sick Leave
While some companies may have standard sick day policies, others may decide to encourage extra caution during this flu season. If your business offers hybrid work options, added extra sick days to the benefits packages in the last year, or has other resources available to encourage extra caution around sickness, now’s the time to remind your team.
Whether it’s through a company-wide email, a meeting, or individual check-ins with team members, make sure they know exactly what to do if they feel sick or start exhibiting symptoms. This can include guidelines on when and how to use their sick leave. It can also include options for working from home if possible and who to notify if they suspect they have the flu.
5. Leave a Little Extra Space and Reduce Contact
In addition to keeping surfaces clean, reducing the amount of contact people have in your office can also decrease chances of spreading germs. This may mean fewer meetings with all members present, or setting up chairs a little further apart during meetings. It can include staggering breaks or lunch times so there are less people gathered together at once. For an office where several people are out sick, it may even be better to hold office meetings over Zoom so employees can stay in their offices or at their desks.
Call Us to Help Get Your Business Ready for Flu Season!
Whether you’re ready to schedule an air duct cleaning, sign up for regular environmental cleanings, or need other professional cleaning services, call us first! Our team at First Call is trained and ready to offer a full suite of cleaning services to keep your office healthy this flu season. Learn more about our environmental cleaning services and request a free quote through our website today: firstcallnc.com/services/environmental-cleaning.
We hold an Unlimited General Contractors license in North Carolina and offer hospital-grade services many relied on during the height of the pandemic. As a family-owned and operated company, we value every opportunity to keep our neighbors and communities safe and healthy!