Did you know, last year, 79 percent of employees reported going into work while under the weather? Maintaining a healthy workforce during cold and flu season can be quite an undertaking. Fortunately, by providing a few tips and tools to your employees, you can enable them to stay healthy and maintain a functioning and flourishing office. Encouraging employees to get their flu shot, wash their hands throughout the day and stay at home when sick can keep germs from spreading. Under such conditions, a seasonal symptom checklist can enable you mitigate these seasonal challenges for your employees.
Educate your colleagues about the differences between cold and flu symptoms, and share with them the checklist below. Likewise, if cold and flu symptoms emerge, ensure your team is aware of the flexible and convenient options for timely medical attention. All they need is their phone or computer for personal attention through services like the 24-Hour Nurse Line and 24/7 online health care.
Cold vs. Flu Symptoms
In order to maintain a healthy environment and avoid spreading germs, your employees should be aware of the difference between cold and flu symptoms. Therefore, if they wake up feeling ill, they can make a more informed decision on whether they should stay home from work or take other preventive action.
Cold: A common cold starts off slow and progressively gets worse. Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Sore throat during the first couple of days
- Runny nose/congestion following the sore throat
- Cough that can linger
- Feeling slightly tired, but not overly exhausted
A cold will run its course in about a week, and is contagious for the first three or four days – so that’s when it’s most important to stay home from work.
Flu: With the flu, the following symptoms often appear simultaneously and more severely than with a cold:
- High fever that lasts three or four days
- Headache along with muscle aches and soreness
- Extremely exhausted and fatigued for a few days
- Sore throat
- Some congestion
The flu can last from two to five days. It’s important for employees to know to stay home from work and contact their primary care doctor if they feel these symptoms. Employees whose doctors are not available should visit bcbsm.com/findcare to see what other care options are available. You can also research other doctors who accept your Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PPO or Blue Care Network HMO plan.
Encouraging your employees to know the signs and symptoms of common seasonal sickness can prevent germs from spreading around your office and staff. For more information on keeping your workforce healthy, check out these blogs: