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This week the BBC announced that scientists in the UK may have found a cure for the common cold. Can you imagine how many hours of sick time would be saved and the increase in productivity during the cold season? Hurray!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, employees took 8 sick days last year. However, 60% of employees surveyed went into work when they were sick. Harvard Business Review compiled information about how more employees are working when they are sick, costing employers about $150 billion to$250 billion or 60 percent of the total cost of worker illness.
Whether sickness is taking a day (or several) of productivity or spreading around the office like wild fire, this cure could be giving you back time and money. In the meantime, still in the testing stages and not available for a few more year, there are some things you can provide to your workforce to help them fend off the common cold:
-Hand sanitizer: Distribute individual bottles or place industrial size pump bottles in common areas, like the lunchroom or bathroom.
-Disinfectant: Germs can hang around anywhere- like desks, office items, door knobs. Place Lysol spray or disinfectant wipes around the office so employees can clean up and stay healthy.
-Vitamin C: Encourage employees to boost their immune system by offering a bowl of citrus fruit or Vitamin C tabs.
-Flu shots: Some companies offer the flu shot when the season rolls around. You can contract with the local clinic and offer a free shot as a way to protect employees and their families.
On top of these offerings, encourage employees to stay home at the onset of sickness. It's more important that they rest and make a speedy recovery and not infect the office, than it is for them to come in and produce lackluster work.