6 Ways How to Prevent the Spread of Cold & Flu at Work

Woman Blowing her Nose

Flu season is fast approaching. All it takes is one person to show up to work with the sniffles, and suddenly all of the staff is overwhelmed and infected with the common cold or even the flu. This can be devastating for businesses — especially small ones — that don’t have a bunch of employees to call upon to fill in. On top of that, businesses, especially retail ones, have to be ready for the busy holiday season.

So how do you stop the spread of cold and flu?

Clean high traffic areas, and clean them effectively

Disinfect your high traffic areas properly. If you’re not sure what we mean, read up on how disinfectants are often used improperly and may not stymie the spread of germs. You’re going to want to make sure you disinfect telephones, keyboards, mice, microwave panels, door handles, keypads, light switches, and anything else that is touched often and usually neglected when it comes to cleaning. Not sure what the dirtiest parts of your office are? It’s not the bathroom, and it may surprise you!

Know who is sick

Not to avoid them, but to be aware of what they are touching and what areas are most likely to spread germs. Being attentive can also help you as a boss tell your employee, “hey, I see you are sick and struggling. We can make it work without you today. Go home and get well.”

Sneeze and cough into your arm, not your hand

We’ve always been told to cover our mouths when we cough, and that’s because we can launch germs far and wide just by coughing or sneezing. We were often taught to cough into our hands, but it’s actually better to cough into the crook of your elbow, because you’re usually not touching anything else with the crook of your elbow and potentially transferring germs.

Wash your hands often and when you can — when you absolutely can’t, use hand sanitizer

Constantly washing your hands after coming into contact with potentially sick people can help kill the spread of cold and flu germs. If you absolutely have no way to wash your hands (say, you’re in your car or on a job site), use hand sanitizer, but only as a last resort, as it is not as effective as hand washing.

Avoid handshakes

Try waving, bowing your head, elbow bumping, or even fist bumping if you can over a full on handshake. We have an article that details how gross handshakes are and why you should avoid them, and it goes doubly so when cold and flu sickness is present.


Avoid touching your eyes and mouth

Germs often enter into our system via airborne bacteria, but we also have a tendency to rub them into our eyes or get them in our mouth. Avoid touching your eyes or coming near them with your fingers or even your mouth when sickness is around you.

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