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Cold and flu season: A guide to staying healthy at work.

By Paperstone on September 25, 2023 in Uncategorized

The chill in the air, the sound of sniffles, and the echoing coughs all signal the arrival of cold and flu season in the UK. As temperatures drop and we spend more time indoors, the risk of catching a contagious illness in the workplace increases. Fortunately, with the right precautions and the use of effective cleaning products like Dettol, you can reduce the likelihood of getting sick and make sure your work environment is healthier for everyone.

About cold & flu season

In the UK, the season typically spans from late autumn through winter, peaking in December and January. During this time, the colder weather and reduced humidity create an environment conducive to the survival and transmission of viruses like the common cold and influenza.

woman with flu in cold and flu season

The workplace challenge

The workplace can be a breeding ground for germs during cold and flu season. People spend extended periods indoors in close proximity, making it easier for viruses to spread.

Here are some common ways in which illnesses can spread in the workplace:

1. Direct contact

Handshakes, hugs, or even shared objects like phones and office supplies can transfer germs from person to person.

2. Airborne transmission

When someone with a contagious illness coughs or sneezes, respiratory droplets containing the virus can remain suspended in the air and be inhaled by others.

3. Surface contamination

Viruses can survive on surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, and lift buttons for several hours or even days, potentially infecting anyone who touches these surfaces.

Preventing workplace sickness during cold and flu season

To combat the threat of workplace sickness during cold and flu season, it’s crucial to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. One highly effective tool in your arsenal is the use of cleaning products from trusted brands like Dettol.

Here’s how you can make the most of them:

1. Hand hygiene

Encourage everyone in your workplace to practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, provide hand sanitisers containing at least 60% alcohol at convenient locations around the office.

Dettol handwash
Disinfectant spray

2. Disinfect surfaces

Use disinfectant products like Dettol to regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, desks, and communal areas. Pay special attention to areas where employees gather during their breaks.

3. Shared spaces

Promote responsible behavior in shared spaces like kitchens and restrooms. Encourage employees to wipe down surfaces after use, and make sure that cleaning supplies are readily available.

4. Personal items

Advise employees to keep their personal items, such as phones and keyboards, clean by regularly disinfecting them with appropriate cleaning products. Keep a handy pack of all-purpose wipes for hot desking areas.

Computer cleaning

5. Sick policy

Establish a clear policy that encourages sick employees to stay home. This helps prevent the spread of illnesses in the workplace.

Air purifier

6. Ventilation

Improve ventilation in enclosed spaces to reduce the concentration of airborne viruses. Proper air circulation can help disperse viral particles. You could also invest in air purifiers. Air purifiers contain one or more filters and a fan. The fan (or sometimes a system of internal fans) sucks in air, and that air then passes through the inside filters. These filters trap pollutants such as dust, pollen, and bacteria, and disperse clean air back into the room.

In summary

Cold and flu season in the UK can be challenging, especially in the workplace. However, with the right precautions and the use of effective cleaning products like Dettol, you can significantly reduce the risk of illness transmission. Promoting good hygiene practices, regular cleaning, and encouraging sick employees to stay home are all crucial steps in keeping your workplace healthier during the winter months.

Need help preparing for cold and flu season?

If you need help choosing the right cleaning products for your business please give our friendly team of product experts a call on 0345 567 4000 or


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