no-fluIt is that time of year again to start thinking about flu prevention, and one of the best places to start is in your workplace. Unlike big business that can afford one or two people off sick, entrepreneurs and small business owners will tell you that they cannot afford to be sick with the flu and need to be well enough to run their business.

We have compiled a list of measures that small business owners and entrepreneurs should seriously consider when trying to prevent catching the flu.

Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent catching the flu. You should get into the habit of washing your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially if you come into contact with things like elevator buttons, doors, photocopy machines and other surfaces that many other people are also touching. Consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk for those times when you cannot get out of the office.

If you have children, get them into the habit of good, frequent hand washing too. It is more likely that if your children catch the flu from the things they are exposed to, you will have a higher chance of catching it too. Giving them a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use when they cannot get to a sink is good – but it is not a substitute for a good lathering with soap and water.

As a small business owner, you owe it to yourself and your business to get a flu shot. The flu shot is the single best way to prevent influenza. While washing your hands frequently and thoroughly well help you from catching the flu, it will not have much effect on airborne particles that are invisible.

Keeping your office surfaces are clean is also important in preventing the spread of germs that cause the flu. Do you know when the last time was that you wiped down your desk or disinfected your phone? If  your office has a cleaning service, chances are they are not regularly and thoroughly disinfecting all of the things you come in contact with. With the aid of disinfectant wipes, you should be wiping down your desk, your phone (receiver and keypad), computer mouse, keyboard and other objects you are touching regularly.

Keeping your overall health in mind, make sure that you have a proper diet, proper sleep and avoid stress. Having a healthy immune system can also be useful in helping to fight off the flu. Avoiding eating at your office desk is another thing that healthcare professionals recommend as a way of staying healthy, and not just during flu season.

If you do get sick from the flu, take the symptoms seriously. Make sure to get lots of bed rest and monitor yourself for fever or complications like neck stiffness and fatigue. This is especially true if you have underlying chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, as you are more likely to face complications.

Stay away from your office space if you have cold and/or flu. Staying at home when you have the flu is an important step to reducing the likelihood you will share your cold or flu virus with others around you. More importantly, staying at home will help to speed your recovery.

Being away from the office when you have the flu is not always an option for most entrepreneurs or small business owners. But there are some things your office space provider may be able to help you with, in order that you work from home better. Having your business calls routed to your home phone or cellphone can keep you in contact with customers without them knowing you are not in the office. This can also be achieved with a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocols) extension that allows you to even make outgoing calls and still appear to be calling from your office phone.