Latest News & Blogs from Nviro

Is your office a risk? 90% of people come to work when ill

Posted on: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

One of the biggest challenges of running an office throughout winter every year is making sure that all members of staff are fit and healthy to ensure that they are all present at work and as productive as possible.

However, all of the cleaning and disinfecting in the world to stop the spread of germs can't help defend against what has been reported as the biggest risk to health during this time of the year. According to a newly published study by Staples, some 90 per cent of people still go to work when they are feeling ill, greatly increasing the chance they will pass their germs onto someone else throughout the day.

Not only this, but the survey also added that this is a growing volume, with only 80 per cent having said the same last year, and just 60 per cent in 2011.

Of those surveyed, the majority said they felt three days was the correct amount of time to stay at home if they were suffering from the flu. However, 45 per cent said they would be off for fewer than two days because it would mean falling behind on their work if they did not come in.

Lisa Hamblet, vice president for facility solutions at Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, said: “Flu season poses a big problem for businesses– each year it causes an estimated 70 million missed work days and billions in lost office productivity. It’s critical that both employees and employers take notice and promote healthier habits.

“That can mean arming a workforce with simple products like hand sanitizer to large-scale industrial cleaning products and techniques. Diligence early in the flu season ensures health and productivity throughout the season.”

One thing you can do to really help keep the risk of spreading illness down in the office is to offer staff the chance to work at home when they are feeling under the weather.

This will allow them to make sure they are keeping their work ticking over and not falling behind, while it will mean there is less chance of others getting ill and missing days, putting your productivity at risk.