Cold and flu season is notorious for causing frequent, prolonged absences in the workplace due to illness. Businesses attempt several methods to reduce this problem by implementing hand sanitizer stations, employing industrial-strength cleaners, and providing employees with resources on staying healthy. While these are all good things to do, employees can take additional steps on their own to ensure their continued good health.
- Stay home when ill. Many employees feel compelled to come to work even when they’re sick. They may be afraid of falling behind on a major project or overburdening their team by not contributing their part of the work. However, coming to work with an active infection or illness can spread the disease and cause widespread absences, which will only worsen workloads and deadline delays. The best thing employees can do once they contract the flu or other illnesses is to stay home until they’re no longer contagious.
- Limit sharing. Borrowing a pen or sharing a bag of chips may seem charitable, but it’s asking to spread germs. Coworkers don’t always show signs of sickness despite being infectious in the early stages of their illness. Limiting contact with coworkers during cold and flu season is a smart tactic to avoid germs.
- Keep hand sanitizer close. Employees accept forms, sign for packages, use communal office equipment, and perform several tasks that bring them into close contact with each other even if they avoid sharing personal items. Having hand sanitizer to use after touching office supplies and equipment can cut down on the spread of germs.
- Stop touching your face. People touch their faces constantly throughout the day without thinking about it. Rubbing their eyes, scratching at their nose, and covering their mouth while they yawn are instinctual actions, but they also spread germs. Employees that frequently touch their faces are giving germs easy access to invade their bodies and spread disease.
- Keep a tidy workspace. Wiping down surfaces, keyboards, and phones with disinfectant wipes can halt germs in their tracks. Being mindful of coffee cups and food containers are also critical as germs can linger on these surfaces and infect employees when they drink or eat. Thoroughly cleaning dishes and keeping food containers sealed can help prevent this.
Educating employees on personal habits to prevent illnesses is critical to reducing disease-related absences. If your workplace is struggling with absenteeism, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our absence management system.