79% admit they went to work sick last year.
73% of employees catch a cold or flu at work.
52% believe going to work sick makes them “hardworking and comm
Only 48% of employees say their office offers disinfecting wipes to keep their desks clean.
55% of workers would give up social media for a guarantee of no illness for a year.
53% said they’d give up coffee for a year to be illness-free.
42% would give up a vacation day to a sick worker to ensure they don’t bring illness to the workplace.
74% think employers should encourage workers to rest and get better.
Fight the Flu
The flu and other colds, especially when working in close quarters, can have a domino effect in the workplace—taking down workers and seriously hindering productivity. There are real, hard costs associated with the flu too—studies show it costs U.S. employers $76.7 million a year in employee absenteeism and other indirect expenses. But as temperatures drop, it doesn’t have to be inevitable that sniffles and sneezes follow to invade the office.
Put the following items on your checklist to inhibit germs and keep staff healthy:
- Wipe down common-touch surfaces. Think of how many people have touched those door handles, stair railings, elevator buttons, copiers, conference room phones, water coolers, vending machines and ATMs. Sanitizing these common-touch surfaces frequently—even more so during flu season—is critical to keeping germs at bay. Even if a surface appears to be clean, it could still be harboring germs, so it’s important to establish regular cleaning routines and educate employees on hand washing. Items that individual employees touch frequently can harbor germs, too. Studies show that one-third of employees believe their keyboards and phones are the dirtiest items in the office—but less than 10 percent say they clean them often. By providing sanitizing wipes and encouraging employees to wipe down their workstations, you can foster a cleaner, healthier office environment.
- Don’t wait—vaccinate. Educate employees on the importance of getting annual flu vaccinations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season usually begins in October and can last until May. Because it takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot for your body to develop protective antibodies—and for the shot to become effective—it’s a good idea to get vaccinated early, so you’re covered during the onset and onslaught of flu season. You can also consider helping employees get convenient access to flu shots by having company-hosted, on-site vaccination events—so employees don’t get the flu and don’t spread it.
- Provide employee education. Consider formal education campaigns, including newsletters and informative posters, that encourage employees to “cover your cough” and “sneeze in your sleeve” (not hands!) when a tissue is unavailable. Again, highlight the importance of hand-washing.
I would suggest a full facility assessment! Having a fresh set of eyes will help to find ways to save money and time regarding wellness and facility needs.