Flu Season Tips for Small Businesses

<b>Flu Season Tips for Small Businesses</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the U.S., on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu complications, and about 36,000 people die. With the spread of H1N1 (swine flu) virus, it is predicted those numbers will increase.

The best way to battle the flu is with a good defense. For small businesses, that means protecting yourself and your staff from germs with simple and straightforward measures and being prepared when staff can’t make it in, due to illness. Not only will you have a healthier, happier workforce, you can keep your business as productive as possible.

Don’t forget the basics. The first step is to keep your hands clean: Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer before meals, after shaking hands with someone and especially after using public restrooms.

Consider putting anti-bacterial soap or sanitizer in the office kitchen and bathrooms, and wiping down computer keyboards, phones, door knobs, light switches and shared electronics such as printers with rubbing alcohol to reduce germ build-up.

A staff e-mail or notice in the office reminding employees of these basics may be a good idea. The CDC provides information and materials for the workplace at

www.cdc.gov/flu/workplace/.

Get a flu shot. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot as your most important protection from the disease. In most cases, the vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu and at least minimize your symptoms should you contract it.

Consider making flu shots available to your employees. If your business or building doesn’t offer them, make it a yearly office outing for everyone to get flu shots at the same time.

Stay at home, but stay productive. The best way to not get the flu — and to not spread it — is to stay at home at the first sign of illness. Encourage your employees to do the same when they or their family members are feeling under the weather.

Now that staffs are more mobile than ever before, for many, working from the couch is not only possible, but productive as well (depending on how you feel, of course).

Consider remote access software, like LogMeIn (www.LogMeIn.com). It allows you and your employees to access office computers and all of the applications, files and folders on them from any Internet-connected computer. There’s also a version for the iPhone.

For more information about flu prevention and vaccination, check out the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/.

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