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The cost of illness in the workplace

illness in the workplace
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In Australia, every employee is permitted to an annual average of 10 sick days and for an individual, the impact of a few sick days may not seem like too much of a problem. However, if combined across the entire workforce, employee absences can equate to a big decrease in overall productivity. It and have even effect company morale and the bottom line of businesses across the public and private sector. According to a 2015 study, workplace absenteeism costs Australian businesses $33 billion in lost productivity.

We may not want to hear it but winter is coming

Common illnesses and medical appointments are the most common reasons for missing work. This season has a bout of sickness associated with it that can result in workers often coming down with illnesses such as colds and flu, which results in a spike in the number of absenteeism cases.

Moreover, workplace absenteeism due to illness also has substantial non economic effects on the quality of productivity. The health of employees in any business’ most important asset. As found by the World Health Organisation, a healthy workforce improves decision-making, on-the-job time utilization, and employee morale that attracts more talented workers. Illness has a various, and dispersed effects on sales, customer service, staff engagement, psychological functioning in everyday activities, and overall well being. The extra workload that is created by the absence of one employee is handled by other staff, which results in elevated stress levels, poor health, and greater absenteeism. This further imposes a significant burden on not only the employees but also their families and the larger community.

To address the problem of absenteeism, companies could move towards setting important policies for promoting occupational health and develop broader policies aimed at preventing illnesses among employees. Follow these few tips to minimize the risk of contracting an illness and enhance overall productivity.If an employee starts showing symptoms of being ill, they could be encouraged to work from home until they can resume regular activities. This will avoid transmission of the infection to other workers, resulting in long-term absenteeism cases.

Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance

A lack of adequate sleep can leave one's body feeling run down and end up compromising your natural defences and immune system, leaving you prone to diseases. Ensure employees get plenty of rest so that they're refreshed and ready to take on work every day.

Practice Good Hygiene

Good hygiene practices prevent communicable from spreading in the workplace. The most important way to reduce infections is by keeping the hands as clean as possible. Frequently touched equipment such as keyboards, desktops, and doorknobs should be regularly cleaned, and alcohol sanitizers provided throughout the office.

Establish Social Distancing

If an employee starts showing symptoms of being ill, they could be encouraged to work from home until they can resume regular activities. This will avoid transmission of the infection to other workers, resulting in further absenteeism cases.

Stay Hydrated

If you want to keep a stuffy nose, flu, and sore throats at bay, drinking at least eight glasses of water can help. To provide employees with clean, delicious and safe-to-drink water to keep them healthy and productive throughout the day, consider installing a bottleless water dispenser in the workplace.

By implementing these small changes, you can create a workplace culture that helps employees adapt and reinforce healthy behaviors, keeping them working at their optimum. Such changes benefit not only the employer but also the employee and the community at large.