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Reducing sickness in the office

blowingnose22967527.jpgEach year, employers lose about 22 million days of work due to sick leave. Most people use their sick leave for doctors visits, family emergencies, and illnesses. While sick leave is a great benefit to offer your employees, you also have to deal with the lost production costs that come as a result of sick leave. If you have to hire another person to come in and work to cover the shift of the sick employee, you are looking at an even higher cost. Of course the best thing for everyone is to reduce sickness in the office so you don't need to worry about losing employees to sick leave. Here are some tips on how you can reduce sickness in your office:

Tip# 1 - Use sick Time
Encourage your sick employees to use their sick leave when they actually are sick. Studies have found that employees who feel like they will not face discipline for taking time off when they are sick are more willing to use it sparingly and appropriately. The risk of infecting coworkers with colds and flu viruses is not worth the limited work a sick employee will accomplish by coming in.

Tip # 2 - Cleanliness
One reason why some of your employees may be falling ill is due to their desk. Their keyboards and phones are a breeding ground for germs and the only way to reduce the spread of illness is to encourage them to clean often. Janitorial staff members normally just do the basic cleaning, they don't get into the detailed cleaning, that is up to your individual employees. Give your employees their own box of disinfecting wipes so they can clean their desk daily. Make sure to wipe up the doorknobs and other areas that are frequently touched. Place some antiseptic lotion on every staff member's desk or outside their office doors, this way you can encourage others to use it before and after they go into the office. If you have a sick staff member, the antiseptic lotion can help to cut down on viruses that are on hard surfaces. A lot of viruses are airborne so the only way you can prevent these from spreading is to encourage your staff members to wear masks if they come into the office sick.

Tip # 3 - Exercise
When people find the time to exercise on a daily basis, they are less-likely to come down with a head cold or fall susceptible to an illness. It has long been known that exercise has multiple benefits, but more employers are starting to take notice of this and they are finding ways to encourage their staff members to exercise. You can do this by offering gym memberships or by giving them extra time during the day to exercise. Try to give them an extra 30 minutes a day that they can use to exercise at any point during the day. The stipulation is that they must do some type of physical activity, they cannot spend it doing whatever they want. You can help them find some type of exercise to do by offering yoga classes and providing them with an on-site exercise facility. Even if you only have a treadmill and an elliptical machine in the room, you will be able to help a few employees get the exercise they need to stay healthy.

Preventative care is much easier than dealing with a handful of sick employees. By encouraging your staff members to exercise, eat right, and stay healthy, you can easily reduce the spread of illness in the office and cut down on the number of sick days that are used by your staff members.

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