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Promoting a Healthy Flu Season Workplace

Now, we know we aren’t doctors over here at City Paper Company (though we like to believe we have our PhDs in creativity), but with the start of the autumn season, inevitably it means that flu season is upon as well. Every year influenza, or “flu,” affects employers and businesses. The flu costs the U.S. approximately $10.4 billion* in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.  There are many controversial thoughts around vaccinations.  By no means are we here to tell you what to do, but we do want to inform you how you can help your company be as healthy this Fall/Winter flu season as possible!

Here are some of the facts according to Flu.gov and CDC.gov:
*  Each year, nearly 111 million workdays are lost due to the flu.
*  This equates to approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity.
*  Each year, on average, between 5% and 20% of the population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands actually die from influenza.
*  The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for 6 months and older, even those who are pregnant or elderly.

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How can my company keep my employees healthy?
1.  Some companies, like hospitals, often require all employees to be vaccinated each year.  This is up to your discretion entirely!
2.  Many organizations “encourage” flu shots by providing on-site flu shot clinics during work hours.
3.  Host a company wide “Family Flu Day” where you extend the on-site flu shot clinic services to ensure your employees’ family members are all vaccinated.  Hand out “I got my flu shot” stickers, sweet treats or other promotional goodies as a thank you token.
3.  Promote frequent hand washing with signs around your office.  Passing out hand sanitizer is also a good way to remind employees about healthy hygiene.
4.  As much as you want to avoid lost time and have employees out sick, encourage them to stay home for at least 24 hours if they do come down with flu-like symptoms.  Better that they spend time resting and not risk the spread to others around them.

By calling attention to the approaching flu season, companies can help reduce absenteeism, increase production time, and potentially lower ever-rising healthcare costs.  Whether you choose to promote the flu shot or simply encourage healthy habits in the workplace, branded swag can make it easy to get your message across to your employees.

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*Statistics provided by Flu.gov (2016).

Stephanie Friedman, Vice President of Marketing

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