It's Flu Season. Is Your Office Prepared?

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

On the pages of Masonry Design magazine, I have discussed in the past the importance of flu preparedness. I think it is a critical issue, so I wanted to write about it again. Every couple of years, I go through a lengthy battle with the seasonal flu – and I inevitably visualize all the work piling up on my desk during that time. I would bet that many of you do the same when you get sick. But if you’re properly prepared, then temporary illness won’t spell doom (or mean costly delays) for your projects.

Every year, thousands of American workers are sickened by the flu, and new strains make it even more difficult to contain or treat. Fortunately, most of us only will be briefly inconvenienced by the seasonal flu, but according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 30,000 people in this country die from flu-related complications each year. So do you know if your employer is prepared to deal with the flu – or worse?

Avoid complications, missed deadlines, and angry clients by being prepared. Back up your computer files regularly, keep your team informed on all of your projects, and make sure your work schedule (i.e., important meetings and appointments) is accessible to at least one co-worker or your supervisor. There is a plethora of online tools to get you started if any of these programs are not already in place at your company. Google is a good place to start. We use Google’s online calendar (which has adjustable privacy settings) so everyone at Lionheart knows where our team members may be traveling or otherwise out of the office. This is a valuable tool since many of us are scattered around the country, working remotely. We also value cloud storage for our editorial and sales files, and we hold regular conference calls to keep our colleagues up to speed on each magazine we publish.

An additional item to consider should the flu affect your offices is how to prevent further spread of the virus among your staff. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued commonsense fact sheets that employers and workers can use to promote safety during flu season. The information is available on OSHA’s website.

As with most situations in life, preparation is the key to success. How prepared are you?

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