The flu and common cold are around throughout the year but ramp up in the colder months. We spend more time indoors, with doors and windows closed, creating an environment where it’s easy for germs to spread. We also get less sunlight during the winter, lowering our vitamin D and melatonin levels and, in turn, our immune systems. Lastly, scientists believe that the flu virus may survive better in colder, drier climates… like Indiana in the winter. It’s no wonder that contagious illnesses like colds and flu spread quickly throughout a workplace, affecting employee health, morale, and productivity.
Cold and flu season lasts from roughly October to May but ramps up between December and March. This year, we also have COVID-19 to contend with. And health experts are predicting the 2022-23 flu season to be a real doozy.
When it comes to a cold, flu, or COVID-19, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. These are a few precautions to help your employees prevent the spread of germs in your workplace.
Educate Your Employees About Cold and Flu Prevention
First and foremost, share information with your employees about cold and flu prevention measures, such as frequent handwashing, covering their mouths when they cough and keeping their work areas clean. Employees should be encouraged to stay home if they have a cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. You can share these tips from the CDC.
Keep Soap and Sanitizer Fully Stocked
Germs are easily spread through direct contact when people shake hands or touch items and leave germs behind. Germs can live on surfaces for up to seven days! High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, shared machinery or workspaces, handrails, tables and countertops, and light switches are breeding grounds for spreading germs. It’s essential to keep your workplace stocked with quality soaps in restrooms and breakrooms and provide hand sanitizer throughout your facility. Hand sanitizer dispensers can be hung on walls in high-traffic areas and entryways to encourage use throughout the day.
Automatic or Touchless Paper Towel Dispensers
Lowering contact with objects can help curb germ spread. Start with touch-free items that are easy to implement, like towel dispensers in bathrooms, breakrooms, or anywhere paper towel is used. Options include automatic towel dispensers or touchless center pull towel dispensers that lower the risk of cross-contamination.
Keep Floors Clean
Maintaining a clean environment helps reduce the chance of cold and flu viruses thriving in your workplace. While we may be diligent about wiping down counters and other surfaces, floors often get overlooked. Keeping your floors clean makes your space clean.
Floor mats can be used throughout your facility to trap dirt and other debris. Floor mats can improve air quality by reducing dust and other airborne particles. In the winter, floor mats help keep water at bay, reducing the chance of mold, mildew, and slip and fall accidents. Urinal and commode mats minimize the spread of urine throughout your facility.
Make sure you’re using the right mops and dusters for your surfaces and that they are in good working order.
Plymate Facility Services Program
Plymate makes it easy to ensure you have everything you need for a clean and healthy work environment. While we can’t completely stop the spread of germs, we can assure you never run out of essential supplies that help employees lessen the likelihood of getting sick, like hand soap, sanitizer, and paper towels. We’ll also ensure you have fresh, clean, and well-maintained floor mats and floor mops.
Plymate’s facility service rental programs eliminate the burden of constantly tracking restroom supplies, floor mats, mops, and more. We deliver supplies, mats, and mops on a schedule that works for you. You can be confident that your workplace is ready to stop cold and flu germs in their tracks.
Don’t mess around with cold and flu season this winter. Contact Plymate to design a facility services rental program that works for your organization today!
Harvard University, The Reason for the Season: Why Flu Strikes in Winter, 2014
Prevention, Experts Are Predicting a Bad 2022-2023 Flue Season: How to Prepare Now, 2022