How Flu Impacts The Workplace
The workplace is a flu incubator.
University of Arizona researchers conducted a study using a virus that doesn’t infect people, yet is similar in shape, size and survivability to the common cold and flu viruses. And, they found that the virus spreads fast. In fact, within two hours it had contaminated the break room—coffee pot, microwave button, fridge door handle—and then spread to restrooms, individual offices and cubicles. Further, within four hours, they found the virus on more than 50% of the commonly touched surfaces and on the hands of about half of the employees in the office.
Unfortunately, employees get sick. And the communicable nature of the workplace makes it easy for viruses to spread. But the flu creates a bigger impact. For example, on average, workers miss 2.9 days per year. But, employees absent from work because of the flu miss more time than their peers that miss work due to other illnesses. In fact, those diagnosed with the flu miss on average between 3.7 to 5.9 days per episode.
Decreasing The Impact Of The Flu Virus
The flu virus doesn’t discriminate and it impacts the entire population. And, when it comes to the flu, prevention remains the best medicine. The flu vaccine reduces the chances of getting the virus by 40% to 60%. Yet, this year it’s estimated that only about half the population will choose to be vaccinated. And, if the numbers are similar to last year, with over 40,000,000 people contracting the flu, that’s a lot of avoidable illnesses.
Plus, higher-risk segments of the population, such as children and the elderly, are only slightly more likely to get a flu shot than the general population. And pregnant women whose doctors recommend a flu shot as an appropriate safeguard, are less likely to get one.
So the challenge remains, how do you increase the number of people who choose to get a flu vaccine?
How Flu Labels Reduce Outbreaks
How can a flu label reduce outbreaks? Through the power of social influence.
The University of California, San Diego found that people are far more likely to take action when an idea gets validated by their community. Furthermore, validation increases significantly when they see examples of their community associated with that action. That’s how a flu label can make an impact. When the community sees one of their individual members wearing a Got Flu Shot Did You? sticker, it has an impact. Some members of that community will get a flu shot that otherwise wouldn’t have done so.
It’s A Moving Target
Every year the flu strain and the subsequent vaccination changes. Depending upon how well the vaccine is matched to circulating influenza, its effectiveness can vary. But regardless, it remains the most effective way to prevent infection. So, increasing the number of people who get a flu shot will reduce the number of flu incidents.
A flu label isn’t the only answer but it’s a simple, inexpensive and effective method that will increase the number of people who choose to get a vaccine. In addition, a custom label that contains your organization’s name and a unique flu message can further elevate the impact. If you need help designing a custom label, contact the UAL customer service staff for assistance.