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How Has COVID-19 Changed Workplace Flu Season?

August 1, 2022

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COVID-19 has changed nearly everything. So much of the workplace is changing as the world recovers from the post-pandemic. You may forget about the flu season. Here are some things COVID-19 has changed about the cold and flu season. 

COVID-19’s impact on flu season in the workplace

Flu season also takes a toll on the success of businesses. COVID-19 improved the public’s reaction to the cold and flu season. Public health measures encouraged people to be more mindful of symptoms of illness. When somebody experiences symptoms, they are more likely to take it seriously now without considering others. 

In the workplace, flu season may be detrimental to productivity and morale. This is because it only takes one employee who comes in sick to spread it to the rest of the office. However, COVID-19 has caused employees to second guess coming in ill and set a defined timetable of when it is appropriate to return to the workplace. These same principles can be applied when it is cold and flu season.

Working from home during flu season

Another way COVID-19 has changed the workplace is that it has made working from home somewhat of a new normal. Even post-pandemic jobs that could be performed in-office have transformed into at-home positions. However, if you work full-time from home and become ill, this does not mean you have to work even if you do not feel well enough. It is important to recover from your cold or flu to not work through it when you are not feeling up to it. 

If you telecommute or have the option to work from home, this gives you and your company flexibility during flu season. For example, some positions require office attendance one or two days a week, while the rest of the week can be spent telecommuting. Therefore, if you become ill with the cold or flu and feel capable, you can work from home, and you and your company will not fall behind on work. Furthermore, telecommuting will make office outbreaks more preventable during the cold and flu season. 

When is flu season?

Considering that many people have forgotten about flu season in the wake of COVID-19, it is essential to recognize when it is. While flu season varies by geography, in most locations, its peak is from December to February. Usually, when a specific area receives an outbreak, it lasts up to 6 weeks, with the first three weeks being the harshest. However, from October to May, flu and cold spells can be expected in colder locations. This is because when it is more complex, more people stay indoors, and respiratory illnesses can travel more easily. In addition, due to COVID-19, more people are wearing masks indoors even into the later phases of the pandemic. This has dramatically altered flu season and its effect in the workplace. 

The post-pandemic workplace

The workplace you once knew may be entirely transformed after COVID-19. It may be difficult to focus or adjust to the new realities of your workplace. For some, one of the most significant changes is working from home. Getting comfortable and staying organized in the at-home workplace is difficult at first. The American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) provides education and training tools for making this transition easier. Check out ASAP for more tips on staying on track during the cold and flu season and much more!


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