Every year influenza, or the “flu,” affects employers and businesses. On average, flu season costs employers about $14.9 billion in lost productivity annually . Productivity losses due to sickness can be difficult for businesses to absorb while maintaining normal operations.
Employers can help their workforce prepare for flu season and prevent the spread of the flu by encouraging employees to get a seasonal flu vaccine each year. Here’s more on the cost of flu season and how onsite flu shot programs can prepare employees for flu season to maintain productivity and lower costs.
Why the flu shot is important for businesses
Flu season usually occurs in the fall and winter in the United States. Although flu viruses can spread all year round, activity typically peaks between December and February. The flu is estimated to account for 10–12% of total sickness absences from work . Fortunately, flu shots can help employees reduce their risk of contracting the flu and other costly complications.
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine prevents millions of flu cases and flu-related doctor visits each year. During the 2016–2017 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza cases, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations .
The cost of the flu
The flu can have significant consequences for employee health and the financial health of businesses. In a given year, as many as 45 million Americans get sick with influenza and as many as 810,000 are hospitalized . Studies show that workers with flu demonstrate impaired performance of simple reaction-time tasks by 20 percent to 40 percent, which can increase the probability of error or injury .
Additionally, about 90% of professionals have admitted they've at least sometimes come to the office with cold or flu symptoms . Going to work sick can lead to a longer recovery time since those infected aren’t taking time off to recoup and get better. This can also mean a longer amount of time that an employee isn’t working to their full potential. The cost of the flu for business includes billions in direct medical expenses and lost earnings, underlining the importance for organizations to take the necessary precautions to protect their employees and their business.
How to leverage an onsite flu shot program
The flu virus changes every year, so yearly vaccinations are important. Companies looking to protect their business interests this season can get ahead of the risk by helping their employees get their vaccinations. Leveraging on-site flu clinics can help more employees get vaccinated, reducing the number of flu infections to maintain productivity and lower healthcare costs. Employers can eliminate a common objection to vaccination by offering flu shots onsite so employees do not have to inconvenience themselves by traveling to another location and taking time away from work.
Even though the flu shot is effective, people often don’t get it. LetsGetChecked’s onsite flu vaccination program makes it easy for employees to get vaccinated and stay healthy during flu season. With our convenient scheduling portal, experienced event staff, and event reporting, your people can reduce their risk of flu and serious complications.