Does it ever seem like employees come into work with hacking coughs, runny noses and other infectious symptoms all the time?
If so, you’re not imagining things.
Nearly 70% of employees show up for work with colds, viruses, fever and even the flu, says a new study by Staples Advantage.
The most common reason cited was “there’s too much going on” at work, so they can’t stay home.
What it means for businesses? Instead of blaming the increase in germs on their “under the weather” co-workers, some occupants will blame it on your facility instead.
Perception is reality
Good news: Companies can take a proactive stand and even boost its reputation this flu season. Three keys:
1. Step up air-filter replacements
Studies show clogged air filters in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems increase allergens and dust in the air.
Make sure your facility crew is doing timely filter changeouts. Your building may need new filters every two or three months.
Also: Healthcare facilities, among others, that use high-efficiency filters report decreases in patient and employee sick rates.
2. Get all departments involved
Remind other team leaders that “presenteeism” hurts productivity because one sick worker can end up infecting multiple people.
Letting sick employees work at home is a viable option for certain types of employees.
But if managers let their people come in sick, get them involved in reminding staffers about washing hands and wiping down work areas. Getting your boss’s support can help here too.
3. Stock up on cleaning supplies
Keep individual sanitizers and alcohol wipes so employees can wipe down their work areas, computers, phones and hands. They’re not an expense – they’re a cost-saver.