Since seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October, the time to prepare is now. While the vaccine is one of the most efficient ways you can protect your employees, there are other actions you can take to brace your workplace for the upcoming flu season. Alan Kohll, founder and CEO of wellness vendor, TotalWellness, offers these tips:

1. Educate employees

Educate employees about flu symptoms and how the influenza virus is spread.

2. Step up hygiene

Step up your office’s hygiene practices. According to a 2012 study, the dirtiest places in the office include break room sink faucet handles, microwave door handles, keyboards and refrigerator door handles.

3. Review policies

Review your policies for PTO/sick leave and telecommuting.

4. Create a communications plan

Create a communications plan for flu season, from the signs and symptoms to flu shot myths, sick time policies, wellness reminders and flu shot clinic dates and times.

5. Develop a contingency plan

Have a contingency plan in place to help maintain normal business operations in the event that key employees are out sick or other disruptions occur.

6. Communicate health plan details

Ensure that employees are aware of health insurance plan details and that they know who to call with questions.

7. Host an on-site clinic

Host an on-site flu shot clinic or participate in a voucher program so that staff can easily get vaccinated at a local pharmacy.