When Sick Employees Come to Work

People go to work when they are sick all too often. Powering through the cold or illness that is plaguing the office instead of staying home to recuperate has become a normal part of life in today’s world. While companies can do their best to advise employees to stay home when they are under the weather, it is ultimately up to the individual to decide what to do. Another way businesses can keep their personnel from becoming sick is to prevent illness from spreading in the first place. Making surface sanitizing supplies available for high-touch areas will keep the workplace and people healthier.

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A Common Practice

A survey of American workers found that 60% of them skip out on sick days and choose to tough it out at work. Another study showed that 83% of Americans still went to work or school when they had flu-like symptoms. In Canada, 51% of personnel have also said they gone to work when ill. This does not just apply to office staff. Workers from all industries feel the pressure to be present, a study of Canadian and American food workers found that 51% of them still make it to their jobs when they are sick.

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Consequences Outweigh Benefits

Employees are doing more harm than good by coming into work sick. People are not as productive when they are achy, congested, and feverish compared to when they are healthy. A study conducted by Queen’s University determined that it actually costs twice as much to cover lost productivity costs for staff that work while sick when compared to the costs of taking sick days. So, if businesses cannot stop their employees from coming in, at the very least managers and owners can take action to prevent the germs from spreading. On average, people come into contact with 60,000 different germs a day. Only a small percentage of those are actually harmful; however, there is no way to know where they are and depending on the location, this ratio could be higher.

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Know Your Environment

Knowing the common hot spots in the workplace is a smart way to start preventing the spread of illnesses. Here are some of the most frequently contaminated places:

  • Keyboards and computer mice
  • Microwave handles and buttons
  • Refrigerator and coffee pot handles
  • Personal desks/workspaces
  • Elevator buttons
  • Vending machine buttons
  • Door knobs and handles
  • Shared tabletops
  • Light switches

Broad-spectrum surface sanitizing wipes are an easy, effective, convenient way to regularly clean and disinfect any non-porous surface and eliminate a variety of microorganisms. A product that inhibits microbial growth after its use will keep surfaces safer and cleaner for longer periods of time. A study of how a virus spreads in an office environment found that disinfecting commonly touched surfaces daily and frequently practicing hand hygiene reduced the spread of the test virus by 80-99%. This simple practice could make a great impact in any business.

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