Workplace flu vaccination programs are not only beneficial to the health of your employees and your family, but they also have tangible financial benefits for your business that make them one of the cornerstones of a comprehensive corporate health program. Here we discuss some of the benefits of workplace flu shot programs that show what an excellent financial investment they can be for your business.
Are workplace flu vaccination programs common?
Flu vaccinations are now standard procedure across the world, in businesses and in personal health. One of the turning points in the take-up of flu vaccinations was April 2010, when vaccination campaigns were launched simultaneously in 112 countries and territories in the World Health Organization Regions.
The goals were to expand immunisation coverage and raise awareness of the importance of vaccines. Presidents and prime ministers, first ladies, health ministers, and ambassadors all got on board.
Now, more than a decade later, the COVID pandemic raised awareness about the significance of vaccinations and public health, it has also highlighted the vulnerability of our healthcare systems. While the flu now receives significantly less attention than COVID, it’s still a public health concern.
In the workplace, flu shot programs are becoming more common because can help maintain employee well-being and productivity, preventing potential disruptions caused by illness. The convenience of receiving a flu shot as part of the workday also can make it more appealing and increase overall vaccination rates.
Ultimately, fostering a culture of preventive healthcare through flu vaccinations is crucial in building resilient organisations and communities in the post-COVID era.
The economic impact of the flu
There is of course an important financial rationale behind this global flu vaccination campaign. It has been estimated that millions of workdays are lost each year because of influenza. Recent studies conducted in America put the direct cost of influenza epidemics to the US economy at US$ 80-160 billion per year.
In Australia, absenteeism due to influenza costs businesses more than two billion dollars each year. There is no doubt that the influenza virus thrives in the office environment, and each winter one in four of your employees will become infected. The financial consequences include increased absenteeism, replacement and overtime costs; and lost or reduced sales and productivity.
From a corporate social responsibility (CSR) point of view, employers have an important role to play in reducing the incidence of the flu amongst their staff. And in addition to social responsibility, research shows that it is also a cost-effective method for employers to maintain their employees’ health and productivity.
Seven benefits of providing workplace flu vaccinations
Here are eight reasons to provide your staff with a flu vaccination campaign as part of your corporate health program:
1. Reduced absenteeism due to illnesses
Flu vaccines reduce the chance of your employees catching the flu and have been shown to decrease the amount of sick leave by at least 36 per cent.
2. Increased productivity
Healthier employees tend to be more focused, engaged, and productive, which can lead to improved performance overall. In avoiding the physical and mental symptoms of the flu, your teams can operate efficiently and complete projects on time, leading to better overall productivity for the company.
3. Improved safety
Flu shot vaccinations at work can also significantly improve employee safety and reduce injuries on the job. When workers are sick with the flu, they may experience symptoms like fever, fatigue, body aches, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can impair their ability to perform tasks accurately and safely, leading to a higher risk of accidents and injuries. Additionally, sick employees can spread the flu to their coworkers, further compromising the overall safety of the workplace.
4. Minimised downtime and disruption
A healthier workforce is less prone to disruptions caused by widespread illness, ensuring smoother day-to-day operations and business continuity. When an employee has to miss work due to illness, it will certainly impact their own productivity, but can also disrupt the progress of team projects and productivity as a whole.
5. Improved reputation as an employer
Annual flu vaccinations can be seen as a perk when offered as part of your corporate health program. They show your staff that you care about them, and about their health and well-being.
6. Reduced staff turnover
Not only do workplace flu programs enhance your image, they also boost morale and improve staff attraction and retention. Thus, when you support employee health and foster a sense of loyalty and job satisfaction, it may also reduce the costs associated with staff turnover in the longer term.
7. Increased vaccination rates among your employees
The convenience of being able to get a flu shot at work can greatly improve vaccination rates among your staff and our communities as a whole.
8. Excellent return on investment (ROI) as a corporate health initiative
Workplace flu vaccinations are also one of the most validated health interventions that you, as an employer, can offer, as the figures behind the costs and benefits are so clear. By making it a fundamental part of your corporate healthcare program, you’ll see excellent returns on your investment.