Sitting in my office preparing for horrid weather reminded me of getting sick. Why? because I’m wearing a snuggie (yea, sick2I own one) with my slippers and drinking hot tea. It’s my usual “I don’t feel well” garb but it felt right with all the cold wet snow out side.

So what does this have to do with business? Well, unless you have the worlds healthiest and cleanest staff members, it could mean a lot when it comes to sick time. Staff members suffering from either a cold or flu can lose up to 40% productivity and infect others causing more and more lost production.

So what can be done? Common sense will tell you to wash your hands, sneeze and cough into the crook of your arm and take your vitamin C. While these are all great plans, everyone can go a bit further to help ward off the sick.

Prepare yourself and everyone else. Purchase extra supplies such as tissues, hand sanitizers and no-touch trashcans.

Use visual reminders. Place reminders in bathrooms, break rooms and anywhere else there is a place to wash hands.

Send an email out if you know the flu shot is available in your area; consider a small reimbursement if a staff member decides to get one.

Tell sick people to stay home. If they are sick their minds are not on work anyway. There is no need to let others get infected either.

Practice what you preach. Keep your hands washed, clean your desk space and take time off when you are sick. 

Keeping your employees 100% healthy may be near impossible but, practicing good hygiene can sure help reduce the occurrences.