A recent SurePayroll Blog article noted that people around the country continue to fight off the flu, the common cold and other ailments that can appear in earnest in the colder months that weaken immune systems.
“While there is only so much you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick, every little bit helps,” SurePayroll stated. “If you are a company owner or HR professional, you dread the winter months. During this time, the chance of multiple employees calling off due to sickness is much greater. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce sick days taken by employees.”
Reduce Sick Days by Improving Technology
When running a small business, there are many substantial benefits to providing employees with technology that enables remote working. Hosted PBX services are particularly attractive to startups and home-run businesses that don’t have a core office space, as these allow for convenient and affordable call routing. Even small businesses with central offices can benefit from enabling remote working during the flu season and colder winter months.
SurePayroll recommended letting all employees know that it is okay to stay home if they become ill. Getting the sick individual out of the office environment is one way to ensure that the rest of the company’s employees are not infected and put out of commission as well. It is better to have one less employee than to have the whole office down with a bug. However, with technology choices like AccessDirect’s hosted PBX system, there may not be a need for a small business to even lose one employee to the flu.
If employees are instructed to be aware of their own health states, they could have the option to work remotely if they feel themselves beginning to become sick. Rather than exerting the extra effort to head into the office and possibly weakening the immune system further, these employees can work from home to avoid getting sicker or infecting other workers.
In another recent HR blog post, Blogging4Jobs’ Lisa Bonner explained how remote workers reduce the chances of the flu being spread.
“Allow employees to work remotely to care for a sick child or partner,” Bonner wrote. “Employees are productive working remote and this enables work-life balance. Allow employees to work remote if there’s a wave of flu hitting the office. The reverse is also true – some employees may want to step out of the germ infested environment to protect themselves and are comfortable working remote for a couple of days.”
Promoting cleanliness in the office
SurePayroll also suggested placing hand sanitizer dispensers in the office to help the workforce continue to fight off germs. Mobile devices are a hot spot for germs as they come into constant contact with people’s hands, face and breath, so practicing sanitary habits can make a difference. Bonner also recommended that a company take the initiative to promote good habits in the office and at home such as hand washing. It is a wise idea to provide employees with an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, disposable wipes and alcohol-based hand rubs too.