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We’ve all experienced it: One worker comes into the office sick, and a week later half the team is down with a cold. While you probably can’t prevent every sore throat or case of the sniffles, there are steps businesses can take to reduce the number of germs spreading throughout the office. Read on for Accurate Personnel’s top tips on protecting employee health during the coming flu season:

Know the Signs of Sickness

If you don’t know when to stay home from work, how can you expect your workers to make the right decisions? According to the CDC, employees suffering from fevers should stay at home until 24 hours after they no longer require medication to regulate their temperatures. Additionally, workers with respiratory symptoms and signs of flu – think body aches, vomiting, and exhaustion – should stay home from work.

Create Flexible Working Policies

To minimize the odds of employees coming into the office sick – and passing germs onto their colleagues – businesses should create and implement flexible leave policies. Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for an employee to miss a week of work. Under these circumstances, companies should consider allowing sick employees to work from home. This practice helps minimize productivity while protecting the health of your other staff.

Focus on Hand Hygiene

Most of us know to wash our hands more frequently when we’re suffering from a cold or flu. However, we don’t always have soap and water at our disposal. To protect your workforce during cold and flu season, consider placing alcohol-based hand cleansers around the office for employees and visitors to use as needed. You can also post signs in restrooms showing the proper way to wash hands – hint: You should be scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Clean and Sanitize

Germs don’t just spread from one person to another. They also spread from person to doorknob to person. Work surfaces, equipment, telephones and copiers are also common culprits. For best results, arrange for more frequent cleaning during the winter months. You can even provide disinfectant wipes for employees to use at their desks.

Contact Accurate Personnel for Smarter Staffing

Looking to get a leg up on hiring in the coming year? At Accurate Personnel, we have the experience and connections to ensure you find the right person for the job. For more information on our candidate screening process, call us or submit a job order for an open position. We look forward to finding your new superstar.

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