Workdays lost due to a common sickness like the flu, when accumulated, can have a huge effect on your business’ success. In fact, according to Society for Human Resource Management, flu causes 200 million days of decreased productivity and 75 million days of work absences all in the span of a single year. Fortunately, a simple precaution like administering flu shots for employees on-site can reduce the risks, maintain your productivity levels and avoid losses.
Flu Shots and Productivity
When an employee is sick, he or she simply does not perform at their best. Studies show that workers afflicted with the flu suffer from poor performance of even the simplest reaction-time tasks by 20 to 40 percent. Workers who aren’t performing at optimal levels tend to commit errors and be more prone to injury. This is counterproductive to any company, not to mention that it adds up to financial losses when mistakes are made.
Guidelines on Flu Shots
Still, employers have to take certain precautions when providing flu shots for work. For instance, employers should keep in mind that there are different flu shots approved for people of different ages, pregnant women as well as people with chronic health conditions, and those with life-threatening allergies. If you have a diverse workforce, this is something you should tell the attending physician or your healthcare provider. It is best to disclose all information pertaining to the wellbeing of each employee just to be on the safe side.
Of course, when to provide the shots for your employees should also be taken into consideration. Normally, doctors will advise patients aged 6 months and older to get vaccinated annually, but the best time to get flu shots is before the flu season starts. Flu season can start as early as October and sees an increase in January onwards, so getting vaccines just before then is ideal or as early as August.
Another thing to keep in mind is how long before the vaccine takes effect. It usually takes two weeks after vaccination for the patient’s antibodies that are most effective against the current strain of influenza virus to develop.
Employers will be glad to know that flu shots will continue to be available throughout the flu season in case workers can’t get vaccinated at the ideal time. Just remember that getting vaccinated as early as possible is the best way to avoid the spread of the virus in the community.
Onsite Flu Shots Save Health and Absence Costs, Society for Human Resource Management
Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.osha.gov/