Once I worked in a small shop, just me and another dude. We shared a lot of things, including doorknobs, telephones, computer keyboards…and every virus his toddler brought home from daycare! So I know a little bit about workplace-spread illness and how it affects morale, productivity and take-home pay.
Today, 20 years later, I am still religious about getting my annual flu shot. In fact, today I am heading all the way across town to get a free one at my wife’s work.
Now, I’m not looking for a debate about immunizations (is the flu even part of that controversy?) I am talking about how the flu affects your company’s bottom line and how, if you are an hourly employee or a freelancer like me, the flu cuts directly into your income. So let’s take a look at Flu Season by the Numbers!
- 5-20% of us will get the flu this year
- 100 million days of bed disability
- 22 million visits to healthcare providers
- 200,000 hospitalizations
- 3,000-49,000 will die, depending on a lot of factors
- 75 million days of work absences
- 200 million days of diminished productivity
- $6.2 billion in lost productivity
- $10 billion in direct medical costs
- $87 billion in “total estimated economic burden”
What Are We Doing About It?
- 180 million flu shot doses are being distributed
- 44% of adults get vaccinated
- 60% of kids get vaccinated
- 70% of employers offer flu vaccine programs
- 15% of employees actually take advantage of these programs
How about you? Are you getting a shot this year? Have you done it in the past? Or do you think it’s a waste of time? (They do say that the shot is 50-60% effective. Is that good enough for you, or not?) Speaking just for myself, I usually think it’s worth the $20. And, as I said, this year is free so I am definitely taking advantage. Share your thoughts at the MindField Online Facebook page…and stay healthy this year!