Flu Season and the Bottom Line: A Direct Link

by Tobi Waller

We all hate the feeling of coming down with a cold or flu while at work. But for businesses, office illness is, in fact, a financial concern. The flu results in 111 million sick days a year, which comes to $10.4 million in direct medical costs for American businesses. How can businesses improve their employees’ health and avoid unnecessary cost?

Make an office plan. For those who haven’t already, flu season is a great time to meet with the maintenance team and check in on issues like scheduling carpet extractions, using influenza-grade cleaning products, and avoiding cross-contamination. These are extremely important in keeping standards high and offices healthy.

Make good habits simple. Businesses should provide resources like hand sanitizer and wipes in common spaces. In our Phoenix headquarters, we have these items at our front desk and in the conference room year-round.

Know the germ zones. Being thorough means addressing hidden places like the buttons on the copier machine or the interior of the elevator.

Share less! Holidays are a time for giving, but viruses can live on surfaces for 48 hours. It’s worth thinking twice before borrowing that pen or stapler.

Keeping a workforce healthy takes effort across the team. However, by aligning on these tips, businesses can improve their chances of keeping their workforce flu-free.

Toni Waller is regional director at OpenWorks.

OpenWorks is guided by a simple philosophy: A cleaner, safer and healthier environment means a more productive workplace. As one of the country’s leading commercial cleaning franchises serving more than 2,500 facilities and 30 million square feet of space daily, OpenWorks offers integrated facility services through its local Preferred Partners and Franchisees. Since opening its doors in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1983, the company has grown to include 415 franchise locations in markets across the country.

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