What would you do if you could save your business a lot of money later by spending a little extra now? Many companies have done just that by investing in the health of their staff through employee wellness programs. The main goal of these programs is to address the mental, physical, and social needs in the workplace in order to keep workers healthier for longer periods of time. While there are no set rules for wellness programs, hygiene should always be included, as it is crucial for decreasing the spread of germs that lead to illnesses.
Sick days are expensive and cost employers in the United States approximately $576 billion dollars each year according to Forbes. Lost productivity due to absence or lowered performance at work makes up 39% of this total, or $227 billion dollars. While offering proper time off reduces the chances of sick employees coming to work by 1.5 times, preventing illnesses before they infect anyone is an even better solution. Effective wellness programs may cost $100-400 per employee, but the lower absenteeism has a return on investment of $2.73 for each dollar spent. Healthcare costs increase about 6-12% (or about $1,000) each year, but can be offset by a strong preventative program.
Approximately 80% of germs are spread by hand, which makes cross-contamination a leading cause of illnesses among staff. Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist, performed a study to learn how quickly a virus could spread in the average office setting. About 2-4 hours after the initial contamination of 1-2 commonly touched items, 40-60% of surfaces had the sample virus. Without the means to keep their hands clean and protect themselves, employees are more likely to get sick and need time out of work. This study also concluded that germs are stopped just as easily as they are spread. When workers sanitized their workspaces once a day with surface sanitizing wipes and their hands more frequently, 60% fewer surfaces and 90% fewer hands were contaminated.
Wellsource, Inc. states that “with training, careful planning, and assistance from outside vendors, an in-house wellness program can be very effective, easy to offer, and affordable.” As good hygiene practices are necessary in keeping staff healthy and reducing the spread of pathogens, it is worth investing in products and services that will make hand washing and surface cleaning fast and easy for everyone. Eliminating as much potential cross-contamination as possible will help to minimize the number of unclean surfaces and hands. Automatic, touch-free appliances like flush systems, faucets, soap dispensers, and air hand dryers will give employees clean hands and cut down the chances of recontamination after using the restroom. For more on-the-go moments, automatic hand sanitizer dispensers are a quick option that can be wall-mounted anywhere. An alcohol-free formula is more gentle on skin and ideal for frequent use each day.
Bacteria are not the only health threat in the workplace, as bloodborne pathogens that are not properly contained can be harmful to workers as well. Hands-free sanitary disposal units in women’s and gender-neutral restrooms isolate potentially dangerous waste that can cause diseases such as Hepatitis A, B, and C, and HIV. Employees will appreciate having a receptacle they do not have to touch and they will never be in a position where they need to flush feminine products. Keeping these items out of pipes reduces pollution and the risk of expensive blockages.
Having all of these products maintained through regular service ensures that your facility is never without any of its essentials and keeps everything in top working order without adding extra work onto in-house cleaning staff. If you are considering a wellness program for your business, add hygiene to the top of your list!