Considering that 137 million working days were lost to sick leave in the UK alone last year, it is incredibly surprising that British businesses aren’t doing more to keep their employees well and healthy. Of course, it’s difficult to encourage grown adults to live fit and healthy lives and sometimes an illness is unavoidable. However, there are a few small changes which can be made to support your workers to maintain optimum health.
Here are five cheap and easy adjustments you can make to reduce the amount of sick days the employees in your business are taking.
Heat recovery systems
The clean, fresh air that a heat recovery system maintains in your workplace will ensure that all those germs will not find an ideal stomping ground on your employee’s desks and workspaces. Heat recovery systems recycle the energy from stale air and turn it into warm fresh air. Bacteria breathes on moist, dirty air so if you install one of these in your workplace, common colds and vomiting bugs will have to look elsewhere for ideal hosting grounds.
Why wouldn’t you want to prevent your businesses from being hit with these bugs? If spending is an issue, simply look for cheap fans and spares online – you’ll soon see that there are plenty of great deals to be had, and you’ll be saving your business loads in avoided sick days.
Company fitness classes
Keeping a general level of fitness is one of the greatest tools anyone can have against the most common of illnesses. A way to encourage your staff to maintain their wellbeing is by having regular fitness classes installed as part of the company ethos. You don’t need a lot of space for the likes of yoga and Pilates, or if you are more traditionally inclined, why not try five-a-side football in a nearby park. Not only will this keep staff fit, it will also install a team ethos that might not be present otherwise.
Of course, when we think of illness, we think of those who are bed bound with the flu or an upset tummy. There is another type of illness that is plaguing society at the moment; mental illness. Keeping physically fit and eating well are two of the greatest tools in battling mental illness, but many swear by practicing mindfulness too.
Simply provide a few mindfulness classes for staff on a weekly basis and watch as your workforce become more focused and at ease. Depression and anxiety are complex problems and this isn’t a one-size fits all solution, but it will certainly help. A plan where your staff receive complimentary therapy is another way that your company can ensure that fewer staff are out with mental health problems.
Keeping dining area organised
Mould and bacteria love dirty kitchen workspaces, so if you have a common area where workers prepare and eat their lunches, you should do your upmost to ensure that this space is kept clean at all times. Keeping saucers, cups and dishes spotless is a tough task in any workplace (we know that there is always one office slob!), but encouraging staff to be diligent is sure to lower the sick days that are taken.
Salmonella and E.coli will transfer from food item to food items in an unkept cupboard or fridge, so it’s best practice to pay diligence and ensure that out of date and rotting produce is disposed of correctly.
Having signs up around your office encouraging staff to adhere to proper sanitation is the easiest and most cost-effective way to lower your employees sick days. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s simple. It’s particularly important that your staff wash their hands after they use the bathroom. Hand sanitizer is not expensive, yet it kills off any germs which may get past your heat recovery systems. However, if you don’t encourage staff to use it, then it will be a waste of time. Education is key – inform your staff of its importance.