The biggest lesson of the flu season

Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of about 30,000 people coughing and sneezing this week with flu-like symptoms.

Flu is everywhere; the worst in years. And it’s costly.

While we can’t stop the flu, we can learn from it. And the biggest lesson is: make sure your sick policy is in good health. An effective sick policy keeps sick people home; it keeps healthy people healthy; and it prevents employees from spreading the cultures that nobody wants – the kind that should stay in petri dishes.

Improving the health of your sick policy

Unfortunately, many sick policies have a fatal flaw: they penalise people who use them. And that prompts people to feel compelled to show up when they shouldn’t. We’ve said it before: it’s not enough to merely tell people to call out: you have to make it possible, practical, and perhaps most of all, acceptable to be out sick.

We here at Bright Horizons ask people to stay home if they have a fever or signs of the flu. Just as important, we make it known that there’s nothing heroic about showing up to work with a green complexion and a sick bag; and there’s also nothing weak about staying home when you’ve got an aching headache and a fever.

Check here for how to get your employees to call in sick.

And to all our friends: wash hands often, use the modern cough method (into your elbow), get a flu shot, and stay hydrated.

Stay healthy, everybody!