How can you avoid the lost productivity of the cold and flu season?

It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season.  Although most of us would prefer if our coworkers stayed home and used their sick days, we know that this isn’t always possible given the deadlines and pressures that are the reality of today’s business world.  A recent study estimated that the flu alone results in approximately 70 million missed work days and nearly $10 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.

For small businesses faced with smaller staffs and limited resources, this can have a significant impact on the bottom line.  So how can you promote a healthier office environment to avoid lost productivity?  Here are some quick, easy, and affordable things that you and your firm can do:

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap several times throughout the day including after using the restroom, after handling community coffee pots or microwaves, after eating, and after using office equipment such as copiers and printers.
  2. Provide anti-bacterial soaps in restrooms and kitchens.
  3. Use paper towels in bathrooms and kitchens instead of cloth/reusable towels – germs can live for hours on towels.
  4. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk at all times.  Offer to purchase small bottles for all employees to keep in their personal work areas.
  5. Provide hand sanitizer in common areas – especially restrooms, kitchens, copy/print areas, and conference rooms.
  6. Distribute a container of antibacterial wipes to each employee and encourage them to wipe down desks, phones, and computer keyboards each night to clean away any germs or viruses that could have spread throughout the day.
  7. Make tissues available in all conference rooms and common areas.  You can also provide one box of tissues to all employees for their work areas to further encourage healthy habits.                                                                                                                   
  8. Suggest that your employees store personal writing implements in their desks, but keep a separate jar of pens and pencils in the open for client or coworker use.  Avoiding sharing writing implements will help stop the spreading of germs.
  9. Cough and sneeze into your arm or sleeve to avoid spreading germs further throughout your body and onto other objects that you may touch.  Wash your hands immediately or put hand sanitizer on them.
  10. Encourage employees to stay home when they are ill by offering sick time or allowing employees to work from home.  If you are a manager or owner, be sure to follow your own rules and stay home if you are ill.
  11. Distribute and post “Healthy Office Rules” to encourage all employees to keep your office environment safe and germ-free!

Additional Information

ASL is committed to helping firms of all sizes keep their offices running at top productivity.  

Whether it’s the efficiency of ordering all your materials with one call, ordering online from the office or from the home office, or providing a wide selection of cleaning supplies and sanitizers, ASL can help.

To keep your firm healthy, simply visit and search “antibacterial” and “disinfecting.”

One thought on “How can you avoid the lost productivity of the cold and flu season?

  1. After 70 million missed work days and $10 billion lost each year from the cold and flu, we should have instant hand sanitizers readily available everywhere we go. While a hand sanitizer pump won’t fit in your pocket and may spill in your handbag, many instant hand sanitizer companies sell “on-the-go” bottles and wipes that seem to make the battle against colds and flu a bit easier.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s