Avoiding Sick Days: Your Guide to Cold and Flu Season

Getting sick sometimes feels inevitable. It never fails, when you hear that first sniffle of the season you know it is only a matter of time before the plague makes it way to you… or is it? It is possible to either avoid getting sick altogether, or if you do get sick reduce the number of precious PTO days that go to waste in bed and not on a tropical beach.

First and foremost; wash your hands

This is arguably the best way to avoid illnesses anywhere, but far too often hands are getting washed the wrong way. Washing your hands includes more than just some anti-bac sanitizer, and includes these steps:

  1. Wet hands and add your favorite soap. You don’t have to use harsh antibacterial soap either. In fact, there is no difference between antibacterial soap and regular soap in terms of infection rate and illness, according to Dr. Elaine Larson from Columbia University.

  2. Lather up the soap and wash your hands for 20-30 seconds. Don’t forget to wash between your fingers, under nails and the backs of your hands. Trying to stay on track for 20-30 seconds? Singing the A-B-C song is a great way to know when you’re done.

  3. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.

Keeping Everything Clean

Infections are spread quickly throughout offices by way to commonly used items – frequently items found in the break room. Regularly wiping down items like door handles, refrigerators and coffee pots with a cleaning solution will do the trick to help stop the spread. Researchers at the University of Arizona actually concluded that cleaning actually reduces the spread of viruses by 80-90%!

Keep Stress at a Minimum

As outlined in the recently published book, The Healthy Workplace Nudge, stress is toxic. Extended periods of high stress can result in a multitude of symptoms including a lowered immune system and frequent colds and infections. Mitigating stress for yourself or your team can be done in a variety of ways but can include creating a comfortable environment to work in, and a shifting culture that promotes employee happiness. You can read more about this in The Healthy Workplace Nudge. Contact us to get a copy for yourself. 

Stick with a Healthy Lifestyle

What you put in your body helps contribute towards a strong defense. Drinking lots of water and/or tea will help you stay hydrated and is very important to help flush out any bugs you encounter. You can encourage this by providing a variety of teas for employees or infused water like we have here at ISCG; both of which encourage drinking more beverages.  In addition, eating lots of fruits and vegetables will ensure your immune system is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay in tip-top shape. 

Prevent Illnesses with Unique Products

Fabrics and surfaces are a great way to prevent illnesses before they even happen to keep those PTO days strictly for pleasure. Sunbrella fabrics with Defiance inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and mildew to prevent spreading whatever the cold & flu season has to offer.

As outlined in The Health Workplace Nudge; standing desks or collaborative areas are a great way to combat the cortisol, the stress hormone, and get yourself moving. Lastly, ensuring adequate daylight views is imperative for healthy employees. Exposure to more sunlight throughout the day will not only lead to happier employees but also more well-rested and healthier ones.

May the odds ever be in your favor this cold and flu season, but remember that you can do a few things to skew those odds a bit. Give us a call, we’d love to help you create a healthy, immune-boosting space for your team.