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Reducing Seasonal Influenza's Impact On Your Business

Joerg Riebel

Customer Solutions

The annual flu season is a persistent threat to businesses, as it can lead to employee absenteeism, reduced productivity, and even business disruptions. While vaccination is an essential preventive measure, it's not a foolproof solution. Businesses need to take additional steps to protect their employees and maintain operational continuity.

Vaccination Alone Is Not Enough

Relying solely on vaccination to prevent the spread of influenza is insufficient. While vaccines help to reduce the severity of illness, they are not entirely effective in preventing infections altogether. This is due to the virus's ability to mutate and evade the immune system's defenses. Additionally, the effectiveness of vaccines can wane over time, requiring booster shots to maintain protection.

Vaccinating employees alone is not enough to safeguard business continuity. Companies must implement appropriate policies and strike a balance between remote work, paid sick leave, and healthy workspaces.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: A Critical Factor

Enhancing indoor environments plays a vital role in combating influenza. Modern buildings are often designed primarily with thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and initial investment costs in mind. Infection control and protection against airborne viruses are often overlooked. However, a significant portion of influenza transmissions occur through aerosolized particles released during coughing, sneezing, speaking, or even simply breathing.

To minimize the risk of aerosol transmission and create a healthier indoor environment, buildings must improve ventilation, air filtration, and air disinfection. Bespoke solutions tailored to the unique characteristics of individual workspaces are necessary to effectively address this challenge. These solutions should prioritize low-hanging fruits, taking into account the existing built environment, while also considering longer-term improvements.

Optimized Indoor Environments for Enhanced Productivity and Reduced Transmission

The good news is that improving air quality in offices not only protects workers from influenza but also enhances their cognitive abilities, overall well-being, and job satisfaction. Investing in IAQ is not merely a flu-related expense; it is an investment in increased productivity and has a measurable return on investment. Studies have shown that maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels while reducing CO₂ concentrations has a quantifiable impact on productivity and absenteeism, while simultaneously lowering the risk of virus transmission.

While seasonal influenza continues to pose a threat, businesses can adapt their environments and behaviors to minimize its impact. By implementing effective IAQ strategies, companies can safeguard their employees' health, boost productivity, and ensure long-term success.