Cold and flu season is officially here, and that co-worker who shared her summer vacation photos with you is now sharing her winter cold too. Sound familiar?
A survey conducted in 2014 found that on average employees had gone to work sick twice in the past six months and 25 percent had gone to work sick more than three times.1 So chances are more than one or two of your co-workers will come to work sick this year. (You can check out this fun infographic with all the icky statistics.1)
And it’s not that some workers don’t have paid sick time to use; it’s that they chose not to use it. According to a July 2016 survey2 by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
- Only 16% of employees used all of their paid sick days in the past year2
- 6% of workers used most of their paid sick days2
- 45% used only some of their paid sick days2
- 32% didn’t use any of their sick days2
Steps to Help Protect Ourselves from Illness-Causing Germs in the Workplace
The good news is there are steps we can all take to help us stay healthy. The flu vaccine and diligent hygiene are important measures to decrease the spread of illness this winter-germ season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3
- Take the time to get a flu vaccine
- Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, including washing your hands often with soap and water, and if soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Take flu antiviral drugs, if your doctor prescribes them
A couple others to add to the list are to sanitize and wash commonly touched surfaces such as keyboards, phones, cafeteria counters and doorknobs. And most of all, stay home when you are sick.
GOJO is providing information and education to help promote effective hygiene this winter-germ season. Businesses and the public can go to www.purell.com/coldandflu.