[aa_subtitle_display]With cold and flu season nearly upon us, it is a great time to ramp up your office’s health and wellness efforts in order to keep your employees in tip-top health. This is certainly a challenging time of year to do so, which is why the help of a PEO is necessary to help employees in the most effective way possible.

In conjunction of working with your PEO, here are some best practices, tips, and ideas on how to encourage health and wellness in the office as the winter nears.

Offer flu shots in the office

Providing flu vaccinations in your office is the perfect way to help keep everyone healthy this season! Offering them right in the office is convenient and almost guarantees that employees cannot use the most common excuses for not getting the vaccine.

The CDC reports that although the effectiveness of the vaccine does vary, in general it reduces the chances of contracting the flu by 50 to 60%. The less employees that have the flu equates to more productivity for your company, as it directly equals less absences and less chance that one employee with the illness will infect others. Your PEO can help coordinate this in-office vaccination, or

– if that is not a viable option –

can assist in a reimbursement program for people acquiring the shot outside of the office.

Encourage fitness and exercise

Physical activity is linked to strengthening the immune system via its ability to change antibodies and white blood cells. Therefore, promoting fitness and regular exercise among your employees can reduce the chances of them contracting a sickness in the “cold weather” months.

Hosting group yoga classes, organizing office spin class outings, or even offering a discounted gym membership for employees can help achieve this goal. This is another movement that your PEO can assist with to make it a smoother and easier process for you as an employer.

Encourage healthy eating

While it is so tempting to binge on chips, cookies, and other bouts of junk food during the work day, healthy eating can do loads for the overall wellness of your employees. Harvard Medical School cites the fact that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and devoid of saturated fats contributes to a healthy and strong immune system.

Thus, it is a wise idea to stock your office snack cabinet with healthier options. Some ideas are yogurt rich in probiotics, dried fruit, and granola bars.

Encourage sick employees to stay home

In order to avoid sick employees infecting others or worsening their own condition, discourage anyone with any type of illness from coming to work until they are better. Hallmark Business reported that 65% of workers polled noted that they go into the office when sick, which is an astounding statistic.

The best ways to encourage those around you to stay home while sick is not requiring a doctor’s note for employees that stay home due to illness and making it easy for people to work remotely when there is a need.

Additionally, providing “paid sick” time is a good way to guarantee that employees will not feel compelled to come to work ill and infect others. Your PEO can easily help put these policies into place for your business to promote the overall health of your office.

Keep resources on hand to fight germs

“Germs run rampant during cold and flu season”, so it’s useful to have the right materials on hand to fight the spread of these germs. Keeping your workplace clean is the first step to fighting the spread, and ensuring that the cleaning products used are anti-bacterial.

Having anti-bacterial hand sanitizer readily available for employees is also a good idea to fight the spread of illness in close quarters.

Finally, providing your employees with supplements such as Airborne, Emergen-C, or immune boosting teas to support a healthy lifestyle can be effective in keeping everyone healthy and happy.

As cited above, there are a myriad of ways to promote health and wellness for employees, even during the peak of cold and flu season. Having the assistance of your PEO can make this process much simpler and more effective and will leave your employees healthy and sniffle-free.

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