Five tips to maintain a healthy workplace during cold and flu season
Now that cold and flu season is upon us, managers should urge their workers to stay home when sick, according to an Office Team survey, which revealed that 70% of professionals admit they frequently go to work when ill.
The survey also found that workers between the ages of 35 and 44 were more likely than any other age group to frequently go to work when feeling sick (88%).
"Many professionals fear falling behind or feel that they can't afford to take a sick day, so they head into work when they are under the weather," says Robert Hosking, executive director of Office Team. "Managers should encourage their teams to stay home when they are sick. Let staff know that there's nothing heroic about spreading colds and flu."
Office team offers five tips to help maintain a well workplace:
- Address the issue head-on. At the start of cold or flu season, remind staff to avoid spreading illness throughout the office by staying home when they are sick.
- Model the behavior. If you're a manager, resist the urge to come in sick yourself. If you do, employees will assume the same is expected of them.
- Give "homework." Offer those suffering from minor ailments the ability to work from home, if possible. They may be less likely to come in and infect others if they don't have to use sick days.
- Keep it clean. Encourage staff to clean up common areas, like break rooms, and make hand sanitizer available to avoid the spread of germs.
- Have a back-up plan. Identify team members who can take over responsibilities for sick employees to avoid backlogs.
View an infographic of the survey results.