As we dive headfirst into flu season, it’s important to stop and ask yourself how many work days your employees missed last year due to the flu.
And then how many came back to work before they should have…?
And then spread the nasty virus around to other employees…?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion that will guarantee your employees won’t get sick and take time off work. There are, however, some preventative strategies you can implement in your business to help minimise the occurrence of staff illnesses and one of the most common tactics is to introduce a workplace flu vaccination program.
What is the flu, anyway?
Influenza (that’s the flu, as we know it) is a highly contagious virus that spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets released during talking, coughing, sneezing, laughing or singing.
Touching an object that is contaminated with the influenza virus and then touching your own eyes, nose or mouth can also spread influenza. People are usually contagious a few days before their symptoms begin, and for up to one week after symptoms start.
Flu season typically starts in April and runs through to October, when the temperature drops, however people can catch the flu in any month of the year.
To read more facts about the flu, have a read of this article.
How serious is it?
2017 was a horrible year for Australians when it came to the flu, with over 200,000 people suffering from the illness throughout the year.
Catching the flu can be very serious. Nearly 3,000 Australians die from influenza every year, and thousands more are hospitalised, so taking steps to prevent contracting the virus is very important.
So, what can we do?
Influenza vaccination is the most effective measure available to prevent against contracting the flu virus.
The flu vaccination will prepare your immune system to fight off the virus, should you get exposed to it, but it takes approximately two weeks for immunity to develop after you receive the vaccination, so the sooner you can get it the better.
Is it foolproof?
While the flu vaccination is an excellent way to prevent getting the flu, unfortunately some people may still contract it even after being vaccinated (although the severity of their flu is often much less as a result).
Because there are no guarantees, there are several other preventative initiatives you can encourage at your workplace, in addition to the flu vaccine, that will help decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
Simple things such as:
- Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Disposing of tissues immediately after use
- Keeping surfaces clean
- Avoiding sharing office equipment such as keyboards or phones
Why would an employer offer a workplace flu vaccination program?
Taking control of the flu vaccination process, and making it easy and free for employees to partake, is a proactive step employers can take to reduce the impact of sick leave on the operations and productivity of their business.
Providing this benefit to your employees is great for morale as it demonstrates that the organisation cares about their health and wellbeing, and it’s also the type of perk that attracts employee talent, looking for businesses that offer these types of extras.
KINNECT makes running a workplace flu vaccination program very simple. You can get an instant online quote for your workplace flu vaccination program by simply visiting this link.
Contact us today to book in your workplace flu vaccination program and protect your employees, and your business, from flu season.