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How to reduce staff sickness

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woman sneezing
How costly is Staff sickness?

The business bill for being ill can be very damaging. A recent survey found that the average worker in the UK is absent 9.8 days per year. Accumulatively, this costs UK companies a total of £29 billion per year.

What are the main causes for absence?

Minor illness such as Colds, Flu, Stomach upsets, and headaches are the main causes for absence. Other contributing factors are: stress, musculoskeletal injuries, back pain, home or family responsibilities, recurring medical conditions and mental ill health.

What are the main causes of short-term sickness?

Common colds and viruses are most commonly spread and contracted through human contact. Contaminated surfaces, either from air transfer or from human contact; contaminated food or water; or aerosolisation (transfer of the virus through the air) are also common causes of infection.

How do you reduce Staff sickness?

To reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in the workplace, and therefore reduce instances of short-term sickness, cleaning should take place thoroughly across all areas of an office. Particularly attention should be placed in areas of food preparation, desks, electronic equipment (phones, tablets, computer keyboard and mice etc), lift buttons, door handles and other high traffic areas.

Lunch should never be taken at a desk as crumbs left behind effectively provide food for the bacteria. Fresh fruit and water should be encouraged to keep your staff healthy as well as enforcing regular hand washing using soap and water. On top of this, hand-sanitizers and tissues should be available to all employees to further eradicate the chance of germs spreading. Critically, if an employee is of ill health, they should not come to work, where they could compromise the health of others.

What are the benefits of working to reduce sickness absence?

These procedures are all designed to minimise staff absence, the advantage this can have to your business is staggering. If staff members’ average of 9.8 days of absence per year can be reduced to 4.8 days per year, for an office of just ten members of staff, 50 additional working days can be achieved throughout the year. There are also additional benefits of higher morale and productivity when working in a cleaner environment.

How can we help?

Julius Rutherfoord’s cleaning services can assist in the prevention of outbreaks of common colds and viruses such as Norovirus. We are the current holders of the UK’s healthiest workplace and our Healthy Workplace Initiative is designed specifically to help organisations to improve their workplace well-being.

Our cleaners manage around 200 offices each day and help to maintain some of London’s most famous and beautiful buildings. We offer a variety of cleaning and FM services and manage each account with the upmost attention to detail and professionalism.

We can also provide specialised wipes for cleaning electronic devices that will kill-off bacteria without ruining your expensive electrical equipment. We use BICs approved colour coded equipment to ensure no cross contamination through different areas such as kitchens, toilets and work spaces.

For more information on tips and tricks to help keeping a healthy workplace please feel free to download our guide: Guide: 8 ways to keep a healthy workplace or contact us 020 7819 6700.

Julius Rutherfoord