The Flu and Your Business
According to the CDC, it's not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, they say, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another. Flu season starts around this time of year and peaks from December to March, but now, while there is no serious epidemic, is the time to do something about it. The National Institutes of Health estimates that the flu costs $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. And workers report their productivity decreases by half when powering through the flu at work. This week's articles are aimed at helping prevent infection and spreading the flu.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.
Here are 10 steps you can take to help prevent the spread of flu where you work.
No matter what your role, you can pitch in to keep the flu on permanent vacation this season by doing these things.
Take these steps now to keep your office running during a flu outbreak.
Preventing or mitigating the risk of a flu outbreak in your office mission-critical.
Can an employer adopt a mandatory flu vaccine policy and fire employees who don't get a flu shot?
As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016-2017 Influenza Season
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. This page summarizes information for the 2016-2017 flu season.
2. Top Ten Ways to Prevent Flu at Work
People across all 50 states will get sick with the flu this year, and the American Red Cross has ten ways people can help prevent the spread of the flu where they work. Share this information with everybody in the organization.
3. Small Business Playbook: How to Reduce the Flu's Impact on Your Workplace
Research from the Center for Disease Control shows the best method for preventing a flu-related slowdown in your office is getting your flu vaccination, and encouraging your team to do the same. Other activities further reduce the likelihood that you and your coworkers will be knocked out by the flu.
4. Beyond Flu Prevention: Keep Your Office Running During Flu Season
While flu prevention may be a top priority for your company, what are your plans should a bout of the flu strike? Planning ahead will help you keep your company running when key employees have to miss work due to a flu outbreak. These tools, along with practicing office flu prevention, will help you keep your company running during flu season.
5. Take a Shot! Four Approaches to Urge Employees to Get the Flu Vaccine
The flu isn't just bad for the people who get it. It's bad for business, too. When employees come down with the annual bug, business owners pay in the form of lower productivity and higher absenteeism. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that the flu is responsible for approximately 111 million lost workdays every year.
6. Forcing Flu Shots, Employees and Health at Work
While most employers (particularly those outside of the healthcare industry) don't mandate flu shots, they often encourage employees to get them. The purpose of these policies is to keep employee productivity up by preventing employees from getting sick and infecting their coworkers. Most employers, however, take less drastic steps to combat the flu.
Quote of the Week:
"Flu can be serious, and it kills tens of thousands of Americans each year. Vaccination is easier and more convenient than ever, so get yourself and your family protected."
-- Tom Frieden