Wood Words

It’s Flu Season in Middle Tennessee: Here’s How to Beat It

It’s that time again.

The air is crisp. Jackets are out of storage. Hibernating creatures are snuggled in their dens.

And it seems like everyone is getting sick.

Yep, it’s that time again.

It’s flu season.

On the job, all of us are exposed to a host of germs each day. Because they move from location to location, however, temporary and contract workers are often exposed to more than their fair share. So today, our Murfreesboro employment agency is sharing our best advice for staying healthy.

Here’s how to beat the flu.

Get your flu shot. No surprise here. According to the Mayo Clinic, an influenza vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the flu. You need to get the shot once each year, because the virus mutates. And while it’s true that a flu shot won’t protect you 100% of the time, your symptoms will be far less severe if you do contract the virus.

Know where germs live. Germs can live on hard surfaces for up to 18 hours – so they love the workplace. With less fresh air circulating and loads of people touching the same spots over and over again, your workplace is a near-perfect incubator for the influenza virus.

So although you can absolutely get the flu from a fellow employee who doesn’t cover his cough, you’re more likely to contract it from one of these “hot zones”:

  • desktop
  • phone
  • keyboard and mouse
  • copier
  • break room
  • door handles
  • elevator buttons

Be inhospitable. Once you know where germs are likely setting up camp in your workplace, be a rude host to them:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door as you leave to avoid recontaminating your hands.
  • Regularly disinfect common surfaces. As a contractor or temporary employee, you will likely be stationed in someone else’s work area or a shared space. Bring a few disinfectant wipes with you to work and give those common surfaces a quick wipe-down. Repeat the process at day’s end.
  • Keep a little bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you, and use it after you touch one of the “hot zones” at work.

Give your immune system a fighting chance. Get your sleep. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Exercise. Your mom shared some really good advice with you when you were growing up. Follow it, and your immune system will be in a better position to keep the flu at bay.

If you do get the flu:

Stay home. Take care of yourself. You’ll get better, faster – and not spread the virus to co-workers! If you are a Wood temporary or contract employee, hare a few tips when you have to call in sick:

  • Always call your Wood Personnel recruiter directly, first thing in the morning (or the day before, if you know you’re going to be too sick to work).
  • Call again toward the end of business hours, to let us know how you are doing – and whether you think you’ll be able to make it to work the next day.
  • Don’t: ask a friend or family member to call on your behalf; email your call-off; or assume we know how you’re feeling. Over-communication is always better.

From all of us at Wood Personnel, stay healthy this flu season!