No less than three strains of flu are knocking around at the moment, it seems that if anything, it is getting worse. So, imagine you are a business manager, what can you do to reduce the incidence of flu in your workplace?
What’s even worse than man flu – a tough call, it is true, but apparently, it can happen – answer: getting more than one strain.
There are three strains of flu in the air right now in the UK, and they are creating something quite nasty.
Last week, saw a 40 per cent jump in the number of people seeing a GP, while 598 people were admitted to hospital with a flu-related illness and 198 were treated in intensive care.
What can employers do?
Steve Iley, Bupa UK Medical Director, has some suggestions.
"We recently conducted a study that found that 40 per cent of employees would go into work even with flu-like symptoms which can have unintended consequences for the organisation. Not only can 'presenteeism' increase the likelihood of other colleagues getting ill, it can also significantly affect productivity.
"If you notice your colleagues are suffering with flu symptoms, it's best that they stay at home. Not only will that help them recover, it will also prevent the spread of illness to others.
"Another way to protect your team from viruses is to promote a clean workplace; flu viruses can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. It’s the obvious things that can make the difference – make sure communal areas are regularly cleaned and everyone properly washes their hands.
"Managers can help promote a supportive flexible culture which can help reduce sickness rates and enhance business productivity."
Then again, it may not be so easy if you are one of the gig economy workers or on zero hours contracts, in which case taking time off work is too expensive. Such people can’t afford to have flu.