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Sep 19, 2017
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Get Ahead of Staff Sick Days This Coming Winter

Preparing & Preventing Employee Illness at Work

With the winter months fast approaching, the inevitable drop in staff productivity is sure to follow. It won’t be long until the clocks go back and then daylight hours become shorter which brings lower staff morale, a generally more sluggish attitude and the inevitable office flu bug doing the rounds. There’s some things that you simply cannot control but combating or at least preventing the spread of germs around the office can be greatly reduced.

In most cases a professional cleaning service is the answer as this will ensure a regular schedule of cleanliness is maintained, lessening the likelihood of germs and bugs from spreading. With millions of pounds lost each year due to staff illnesses, it really does pay to take staff sickness seriously, no matter the size of your company.

Keep Your Offices Clean

Professional office cleaning and maintenance companies will offer a number of services that will go a long way to maintaining a healthy working environment and will recommend suitable cleaning regimes dependent on your particular type and size of office.

At a basic minimum, a regular janitorial service is something that should be considered at least weekly or ideally daily if you have a large team sharing the same space. They’ll take care of items including keeping the toilets sanitised, carpets and floors vacuumed, removing waste and recycling and ensuring surfaces such as kitchens, desks and common areas are wiped down and clean. In short, all of the bare necessities which all contribute towards the spread of germs that can cause illness.

It also pays to have deeper cleans arranged a suitable times during the year including carpet and upholstery cleaning, hard and stone floor cleaning, regular window cleaning, VDU cleans, pest control and even jet washing of exterior areas that have a large build up of dirt and grime.

Surprisingly to many, some of the less obvious places are those that harbour the most germs. Reception desks, computer keyboards and mice and shared items like photocopiers and coffee machines are commonly found to harbour very high levels of bacteria. So it pays to have a professional cleaning service take care of those concerns to safeguard your staff from the potential spread of cold and flu-like illnesses.

Don’t Encourage Sick Staff to Attend Work. Image credit: Vicks

Install Healthy Regimes

Insisting on healthy habits around the office will go a long way to ensuring your team stays healthy and germ free throughout the winter months.

Most common of all is to ensure staff wash their hands each and every time they use the washrooms, no matter what. Offices tend to be a highly pressurised environment so forgetting or skipping the critical washing of hands is something that happens frequently if people are in a rush. You can greatly improve the situation by placing signs in restrooms to remind staff to wash their hands and also have readily available hand sanitisers placed in easy to reach areas around the office, which will actively encourage good hand hygiene all round.

Good Clean Air

With the colder months comes the need to heat your offices. If you rely on a central HVAC system, make sure you have it regularly serviced and filters changed. Bacteria and airborne pathogens spread and multiply very quickly when warm air is introduced onto dirty, dusty filters and ducting which will quickly spread to the offices and be inhaled by your staff. That can lead to developing very unpleasant respiratory illnesses and allergies which will make people extremely unwell.

Placing Signs in Restrooms Encourages Hand Hygiene. Image credit: Raymac

Stop Germs at the Source

If one of your employees does fall ill or calls in sick, do not insist they come into work unless it is absolutely critical. By encouraging attendance at work whilst unwell is just asking for trouble as the rest of the team will inevitably get sick and it will cost you more in the long run. One absentee can be easily compensated for by another team member stepping in but several is unthinkable. Alternatively, a sick employee working from home if fit to do so is a much more viable option and means you do not lose any productivity and create a culture of flexibility in times of need.

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