Health problems are costing American businesses more than $576 billion per year. That’s a staggering number of used tissues. If you’d like to sidestep this crisis and keep your employees at their desks, here are just a few tips for encouraging wellness in the workplace.
1. Offer Incentives for Good Health
You can’t punish people for getting sick, but you can reward them for good habits that will decrease the odds of them falling ill. For example, you might offer perks if they enroll in diet or exercise programs sponsored by the company, or you might provide discounts on healthy snack items in the vending machines as opposed to the usual junk food.
2. Sanitize Everything
Studies have shown that a single contaminated doorknob can infect 40-60 percent of an office within hours of exposure. Germs can also linger on communal office equipment like computers, printers and fax machines. They can even build up on the water cooler if it isn’t wiped down regularly. Make sure that the cleaning staff is disinfecting these surfaces during their nightly rotations.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress takes a physical and emotional toll on the body, so if your employees are consistently feeling the pressure of big projects and tight deadlines, their immune systems are probably suffering. If you can reduce stress in your workplace, you can also prevent your staff from being overly vulnerable to viruses.
4. Improve Your Plumbing
Outdated plumbing can cause a variety of issues in the workplace. For example, if your building was constructed before the ’60s or ’70s, you might have galvanized steel pipes that are slowly rusting into your drinking water. If there are old pumps in your waste management system, your toilet water isn’t being disposed as efficiently as it could be. You may want to look into industrial wastewater pump installations for your building. Improve your plumbing situation to improve the health and safety of your workplace.
5. Educate Your Employees
Last but not least, make sure that your employees know how to fight off common allergies and illnesses. Organize workshops and health talks to teach them about containing germs, and distribute pamphlets with reminders about hand-washing and elbow-sneezing when people fall ill. You might even want to offer discounts on flu shots when winter rolls around.
These are just a few tips for a happier, healthier staff. While you can’t entirely eliminate the sniffles, you can reduce both their frequency and severity by cultivating the right kind of workplace. Use these suggestions to lower sick leave among your staff.