Each year the Centers for Disease Control track the flu and the resulting costs of the illness on schools and businesses. On the surface, we know that the spread of the flu can lead to higher rates of absenteeism and lost productivity. But the impacts go far beyond just missed days of work or school.
The Effects of Illness at School and Work
Each year, the average school teacher misses 9 or 10 days due to illness. This has implications on both school finances and student learning. In fact, researchers have found that being taught by a substitute for 10 days a year has a larger impact on a child’s math scores than changing schools. Not to mention the national cost of teacher absenteeism is estimated at $25.2 billion.
Poor health is also one of the main causes of chronic absenteeism among students, with the U.S. Department of Education calling it a “hidden educational crisis” that leads not only to higher dropout rates, but poor outcomes later in life.
When it comes to businesses, the impact is lost productivity. According to Small Biz Trends, approximately 70 percent of employees go to work even when they are sick. Sick employees just aren’t as productive. However, the larger impact is that illnesses like the flu spread like wildfire around the office, further amplifying the loss of productivity.
But it’s not just businesses and schools that see a spread of the illness. When people are sick, they show up at hospitals, doctors offices, and urgent cares. These medical settings can also be rife for the spread of the flu among healthcare workers and the general population.
Flu Prevention Tips
So what can be done to help prevent the spread of the flu and other communicable illnesses? Here are some of our top tips to stopping the spread!
- Encourage proper handwashing by posting signs in all restrooms
- Provide students, teachers, and employees with antibacterial products for when hand washing is not possible
- Encourage all employees to get their yearly flu vaccination or consider having a flu vaccine clinic at your workplace
- Develop and review sick leave policies that encourage sick workers to stay home and advise employees to stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicines
- Don’t reward students for perfect attendance as this can encourage some students to come to school sick
It’s important to understand that you can’t always control what other people decide to do or not do when they are sick. So the best defense for stopping the spread of the flu is to hire a commercial cleaning service.
A commercial cleaning service trains its employees to know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing as well as how often surfaces should be cleaned. They know the proper techniques and use the latest cleaning solutions and equipment to ensure that your spaces are clean and healthy for everyone.
AK Building Services has been helping businesses, medical facilities, and schools in South Florida shine with high-quality commercial cleaning services. Our team of experienced and highly-trained staff understands what it takes to make your spaces healthy and safe, helping you prevent the spread of the flu. Contact us today to learn more about our customizable services.