Best practice for flu season, and office protocol when cold and flu strikes
pressure to push through the fog when we get sick rises in today’s day and age
with an ever-increasing workload and desire to impress. Whether it be the
feeling the boss may get upset with you or that you’re not entitled to the day
off unless you’re literally on death’s door or that you just do not want to let
your teammates down, there are many reasons to force yourself to go to work.
However, all of these reasons, the latter especially, are exactly why we should
consider not going to work if we get laid low with a cold or the flu.
is on the rise and deadlier than ever. In August 2017, Immunisation Coalition
statistics showed over a 50% increase in the number of confirmed cases of
influenza as compared to the year before. 2018 statistics are equally
concerning as influenza is already spreading even though it is early in the
season. It’s important that you work to decrease the chances of infection
heading into the winter of 2018.
What could possibly go wrong?
You are highly contagious
long as you are showing symptoms including coughing, fatigue, fever, sometimes-even
diarrhoea even vomiting it is recommended you stay away from others as much as
possible. This is especially important in the working environment as it reduces
productivity immensely. This can last around 1-2 weeks and you should avoid
going into work until at least 24 hours after you have stopped experiencing
symptoms. For adults working with children or the elderly or for children
themselves it is important to review your workplace policy as influenza can be devastating
for those with weaker immune systems.
The workplace isn’t “sick friendly”
sick means needing constant access to basic amenities like bathrooms, hygiene
products and medication. It is inappropriate to constantly run off to the
bathroom at work and the shared office space puts others at risk. Constantly
coughing or blowing your nose may not just lead to annoying your co-workers, germs
are likely to spread. Manual labour and strenuous work conditions can also be
hazardous when your body needs rest.
Sickness will interfere with your decision making
wouldn’t want to foggy headed, in need of a bathroom and blowing your nose
every five minutes if you were trying to pilot a plane. Why should it be the
same for other professions? When you’re sick you have a number of symptoms distracting
you and as a result your decision-making is impaired. You could also experience
side effects from cold and flu medication – yet another reason not to be at work.
You need rest to get better
let a three-to-five day sickness turn into a two-week-and-beyond problem just
because you don’t want to disappoint others. Get the rest you need, focus on
maintaining a healthy nutritious diet and take your medications at the
recommended intervals. Make sure you are taking the best product for your
symptoms (ask your pharmacist) and don’t double up by taking multiple products
with similar formulas.
Just stay home
let the risk of widespread infection threaten your whole workplace during flu
season. You may like to work from home but ultimately taking the time off is
the best solution to maintaining high productivity within your workplace.
See your doctor
it is difficult to tell if it is a simple cold or more serious influenza. If
you think you may have “real” flu, there are treatments from your doctor that
can help to shorten the duration and severity of the flu.