It’s the time of year again where people are talking about the flu. There has been a lot of news about certain flu jabs protecting only certain viruses, and the risk to patients where NHS staff sometimes refuse to have the flu jab. Indeed, there is an enhanced flu jab for people over 65, which will be used for the first time in the UK this winter.
What the British Medical Association have suggested could be ‘the worst winter on record’. Although the workplace is very much vulnerable to the flu spreading, a number of workplaces aren’t sufficiently prepared for such an eventuality. The key way to address the winter is by prevention, as opposed to cure. Measures that can be put into place include providing disinfectant gels, wipes and tissues in adequate amounts.
In the workplace a flu epidemic can mean loss of time and therefore more pressure on other people, who later succumb to the flu. Then there is the aftermath of recovery time, when people are still feeling weary, causing still further illness. This is often seen as a normal thing in the workplace, but putting in small, low-cost preventative measures, as described above, can dramatically increase productivity. Further, allowing employees to take naps, when they are tired and less productive, can also decrease their chances of catching the flu, as well as increase overall productivity.
Despite that, it is interesting to note that take-up is still very low. Small, as well as large, organisations may need to remind people that although the worst time for flu is still some weeks off, this is the moment to take preventative measures. Not to mention that, in having yourself vaccinated, you are protecting those around you who are vulnerable.
Is it time to remind your workforce that this might be a good time to take preventative measures to protect themselves, and those with whom they work, as well as family members?
Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss maximising good health in your organisation.