How to Survive Flu Season in the Workplace

January 31, 2018

Flu season has arrived to kick off 2018 and experts have predicted it’s one of the worst outbreaks of the sickness that the U.S. has ever seen. Crowded workplaces, long days, and small teams that work closely together may only exacerbate the issue.

Going to work sick can be a reckless move--not just for you, but for your whole team. But what can be done in order to survive flu season this year in the workplace? The Elysian team has some choice tips!

  1. Begin taking preventative measures ASAP.
    Arming yourself with lots of citrus and hot liquids like soups and teas can help to prevent inflammation and provide nutrients that your body needs to ward off any illness. Signs and symptoms of the flu might not show up clearly until it’s too late, and you can’t be too sure who you’ve been interacting with at work may be ill and contagious. Especially if you know of people in your office who have been sick recently, you’ll want to avoid community spaces like lunch rooms and lounges as much as possible, and keep a mini hand sanitizer with you at all times for good measure! According to the CDC, the flu can be spread to anyone up to six feet away from you, and most people spread the flu to others before they even realize they have symptoms.
  2. Don’t have sick days? See if it’s possible to work from home.
    If many people in the office have been sick and you’re concerned or starting to feel under the weather yourself, some preventative measures like this might just save you. If you have deadlines and projects that must be finished but can be done from the comfort of your own home and don’t require working on a team of people, working from home could ensure that fewer people in the office get sick.
  3. Pay close attention to your diet and lifestyle.
    If you’re eating healthy meals and taking vitamins, drinking water to stay hydrated, getting enough sleep, and remaining active, your immune system will naturally be better equipped to ward off illness. The more you take care to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle, the less you’ll be affected by flu season.
  4. Get a flu shot just to be safe, or call your doctor at the first sign of illness.
    Your doctor will be able to quiet your anxieties about getting sick, and can let you know if you’re dealing with the flu or just a cold. They may be able to prescribe you something like Tamiflu to ease you through, or let you know how much rest and TLC you should be giving yourself.
    And last but not least…
  5. If you even suspect that you might have the flu, take a sick day immediately.
    You don’t know if you’re contagious or how bad it will get, and going into the office could put everyone else at risk. You’ll need your rest if you’re beginning to come down with something, and trying to force yourself to work will only take away energy that your body needs to recover.

More often than not, people go into the office when they’re sick because they feel they have to. You’re afraid that if you take a day off, you won’t be able to catch up later, or that it will reflect poorly on your work ethic. However, if you’re starting to feel under the weather, trying to “tough it out” might just be a bad move with this year’s flu strain, and the season might last even longer than usual this year.

If you’re starting to feel that flu season stress, the best thing to do is stay home and take care of yourself. Your team members will thank you in the long run, and you’ll be rested enough to jump back into your creative endeavors with 100% energy!

All the best,