Employees do not want to talk about it, and employers do not like to see it. It is a dreaded thing in the business world called, “absenteeism.” There are many reasons why an employee can be absent from their job. We are talking about the real and true, valid reasons that all of us have to take an unplanned day off from work. Sicknesses are a part of life and are unplanned. Employees do not plan on being sick and often the fact that they will get sick causes many challenges for the employer and the employee.
Sick Days and Illnesses
Illnesses, medical appointments, and injuries are some of the most commonly reported reasons for an employee to miss work. Sometimes there are very real and valid occurrences, and sometimes they are not. If you own and operate a business that is a very real reality and part of doing business. It is not surprising though that each year during the cold and flu season there is a dramatic increase in this absenteeism. Some companies do not offer sick days, and that impacts the decision that the employee will make when they are sick. Most employees will choose to work while sick over the loss of income.
Loss of Productivity
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index, a survey of 94,000 workplaces across the United States related to absenteeism and poor health, found that in the agricultural industry the cost of loss of productivity was $160 million dollars. In areas of business where professionals work, they found that it was dramatically more: $24.2 billion dollars. Moreover, when they looked even further at employees that have chronic illnesses, the cost was a whopping $84 billion dollars in lost productivity. They measured this in 14 different job types throughout the country.
Do not wait, act quickly
Okay, one of your employees just came to work sick, hacking and wheezing in the office throughout the day. What do you do? The cost to you and your employees around them is that they most likely are going to infect them with whatever they have. Send them to the doctor and then home to rest and get better. Yes, they are going to be away from work, but it will cost you and them less than staying at work and infecting the whole office.
Working while sick may demonstrate admirable qualities in your employees, but the real danger is in the fact that they are infecting their fellow colleagues and staff while being there. One of the top reasons that employees do not take sick days is out of obligation to colleagues. A study by the Mass. General Hospital in Boston, found that 51% of employees worked while being sick.
How to prevent workplace illnesses
So how can you combat workplace illnesses? Again, one of the best courses of action is to send them to the doctor and then home to get the rest. But what if they come to work anyway? There are steps that you can implement in your office that will dramatically reduce the spread of illness and maintain or improve on employee workplace productivity. Here are five commercial cleaning strategies to implement in your office to prevent the spread of germs and employee workplace illnesses.
- Install touchless soap dispensers, sinks, and toilets.
- Install touchless hand sanitizers around the building and just outside the bathroom doors.
- Hire a commercial cleaning company to (ATP) test for hot zones where the most germs live in your office.
- Hire a commercial cleaning company to come in and not just clean, but disinfect your office to significantly reduce the number of germs and the spread of germs in the office.
- Start some time of wellness program for your employees that rewards them for staying healthy.
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