6 Tips for Cold and Flu Prevention at The Office

cold and flu in the office

This is a guest post by Cliff Derksen, owner of First Impressions Janitorial, a Winnipeg janitorial cleaning service.

Fall is already here and the cold weather marks the beginning of cold and flu season. No matter what you do, chances are that people will come sick to the office and increase your risk of getting the germs, as well.

Several preventative tips can help make the office a much safer and healthier place. If you’d like to keep everybody happy and sneeze-free this autumn, you’ll benefit from the following six easy to implement suggestions.

Make Sanitizing Products Available

Clean hands are very important, especially when it comes to dozens of people touching the same surfaces and conveniently spreading germs around. This is why every office should be stocked up with all of the essential sanitizing products.

Switch the traditional soap for the anti-bacterial variety.

Wet wipes and sanitizing sprays that can be used on a daily basis for keeping office surfaces cleaned will also be great for reducing the risk of having one person after the other falling victim to colds and flu.

Strict Policies towards Sick Employees

No matter how hard you try to reduce the risk of infections, a sick person coming to the office will probably lead to many additional sick leaves. While workers could think that they’re doing the right thing by coming ill to the office, you know what risks stem from such behaviors.

Make sure that you have strict policies in place and that everybody is onboard. As a leader, it’s your job to make people that have the flu take a few sick days. This way, you can prevent a much bigger office disaster.

Regular and thorough Cleaning

Professional office cleaning, especially when the right sanitizing products are being used, can also reduce the risk of illness significantly. The germs go anywhere that sick people or virus carriers do. This is why the cleaning team should put emphasis on the bathrooms, the office kitchen, the break room, common office areas and machines like printers, faxes and phones.

Replace the traditional trash bins with no-touch baskets. Disposable towels in the kitchen, the restroom and the lobby are another great option for keeping it clean.

Talk to your cleaning team and make sure that surfaces are thoroughly disinfected during flu season. Traditional detergents may be ineffective, especially if a flu epidemic is announced in the city or the particular region. A few additional measures will often be sufficient to make sure that everybody’s healthy and productive.

Encourage Employees to Get Flu Shots

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US companies lose 10.4 billion dollars each year due to colds and flu. Still, the number of people that get flu shots remains surprisingly low.

An awareness campaign at the office can inform employees about the benefits of getting a flu shot. As an employer, you can encourage the people that work for you to take better care of their health during flu season.

You can inquire about the possibility of having a medical professional stopping by the office to offer flu shots. Spreading information via an office email bulletin is another great opportunity. Finally, don’t forget to lead by example and get a flu shot yourself!

Flexible Work Day

The 9 to 5 office routine may not be a good idea at a time when employees are falling sick like dominoes. A little bit of flexibility can boost productivity by keeping everyone healthy.

Some employers feel that reducing the workday is far from the best thing when it comes to keeping processes on track and meeting deadlines. A bit of flexibility, however, will enable employees to tackle important tasks and get home on time, especially if they feel like they’re getting sick.

Another option that can be tested during flu season is telecommuting. Chances are that many employees will still be capable of doing their job from home. Giving people this freedom is another option for keeping the work process going without jeopardizing everybody’s health.

Printable Reminders

If everything else fails, try the good old poster. Printed reminders about hygienic practices can do miracles in terms of keeping the office environment healthy.

The bathroom, for example, could feature a reminder for people to stick to anti-bacterial products.

A note in the work area itself should remind employees to sanitize phones, keyboards and work areas at least a few times per week. Until these become an internalized habit, people are likely to forget. Printed reminders will definitely make the transition to a higher level of hygiene during flu season easier.

Stick to these essentials and you’ll get to beat influenza. We wish you happy, productive and fun fall that doesn’t feature coughs, sneezes and strep throats. Don’t forget to keep the office space clean and you’ll most definitely make it possible for employees to survive the fall without catching the dreaded cold.

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How Supplements Can Improve Your Overall Health

How Supplements Can Improve Your Overall Health

Dietary requirements, allergies, intolerances, illnesses and other factors can prevent us from getting optimum nutrients and vitamins from food alone. That’s why millions of people all over the world take supplements each day, whether they are recommended by a doctor to treat a deficiency, or just to ensure people get enough of what their diet lacks.

In this article, we’ll give a list of popular recommended supplements to top up your diet and ensure you’re getting the correct dosage of some important nutrients.

Most supplements can be taken harmlessly with no side effects, but you should always thoroughly check labels and get proper medical advice if you’re unsure. For instance, St John’s Wort is widely considered an herbal remedy for depression but can actually decrease the effectivity of contraceptive pills.

For insight into your personal needs, consult with a doctor or nutritionist. Especially if you have a condition that restricts your diet, or you simply want to check that a particular supplement won’t affect any medication you take.

Popular Supplements

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria usually taken in tablet or powder form as supplements for a healthy digestion and immune system. It helps ‘good’ gut bacteria flourish, which in turn helps your immune system to kill bad bacteria that could make you sick.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics basically enable the full effect of probiotics to take hold – think of it like a fertilizer enabling garden plants to properly grow. Find the best prebiotic supplement by visiting chemists, health stores or online.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are a great solution for busy people. Simply pop one tablet that contains a cocktail of essential vitamins and nutrients! Most multivitamins contain things necessary for everybody, like vitamins A, E, C, K; folic acid; calcium; phosphorous; magnesium; iron; iodine; and plenty more.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary to get through food sources or supplements each day because it can’t be stored in the human body. It’s an antioxidant which increases the volume of iron we can absorb from foods – therefore those with iron deficiency or anaemia should get lots of vitamin C too. It is easily found in fresh vegetables, citrus fruits or supplements, which you can buy cheaply in supermarkets.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium and phosphate for healthy bones. Supplements help to ensure you get enough daily vitamin D, but you can get it in your diet by eating lots of fatty fish, red meat and eggs. (Vegetarians and vegans therefore should invest in supplements.)

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 facilitates the proper functioning of the nervous system and is involved in the creation of blood cells. It’s vital that everyone gets enough B12.

Though it is usually found in meat and animal products like chicken, milk and eggs – this is another essential supplement for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Iron

Iron is especially vital for women and pregnant women. It is involved in the transportation of oxygen around the body in the blood, which is needed to create energy.

If you experience fatigue, you could be lacking iron or suffering from anaemia. Iron supplements are helpful to top up your blood iron, but you could also eat a diet full of spinach, broccoli, nuts, seeds, brown rice, dried fruit and red meat.

Zinc

Zinc is said to regulate immune function, have effects on memory and learning ability, and help wounds heal quickly. It’s possible to get too much zinc, so it is mostly included in multivitamins rather than a supplement on its own.

Calcium

Calcium is important for healthy bones. Since it is most prevalent in dairy products, vegans or just those who don’t eat much dairy should consider taking a supplement, or a multivitamin containing calcium.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil contains plenty of omega-3, vitamin A and vitamin D. It can help with skin diseases, like eczema and rashes, and can help reduce inflammation of the joints and arthritis.

Eating a diet full of fresh foods is essential for good overall health. Though if your diet restricts you from getting some of these necessary vitamins, supplements are a helpful and convenient way to replace them. Ask a doctor’s advice for help with balancing your diet, or you’re experiencing any symptoms associated with lack of vitamins.