Top tips for a healthy workplace on National Sickie Day

As the UK grapples with snow and ice after an unseasonably warm and dry start to the year, employers face the annual bout of colds and flu as workers stay inside and in closer contact helping viruses to spread quickly. Ambius, the expert in creating healthy workplaces has produced its tips for keeping the workforce healthy and productive through the winter months.

Trisha Haughey, Managing Director of Ambius said: “It is widely accepted that January and February are difficult months in terms of employee motivation and sickness levels.  And this year is set to be particularly challenging given the late cold snap. Creating a healthy work environment and improving employee well-being can go a long way to improve employee engagement and in turn, productivity at a time when this is so critical for businesses.”

Go green!  Plants in the workplace remove toxins from the air, offset sick building syndrome and boost employee well-being.

Boost the comfort factor by giving staff control over their work environment – research has showed that staff with higher comfort levels are more productive at work and less likely to take time off work with illness.

Encourage healthy eating plenty of fruit and veg are important to keep the immune system strong allowing your body to fight off viral infections. Instead of vitamin C supplements fresh fruits should be prioritised due to a wide range of vitamins and nutrients. 

Drink lots of fluids. Provide a water dispenser for employers, valuable all year. A great first defence against cold, fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies. If members of staff are coming to back to work following time off for illness, extra fluids will help remove any excess mucus. A Point-of-Use dispenser is a cost-effective alternative to traditional dispensers.

Ensure washrooms are well equipped to enable employees to wash their hands with hot water and effective drying method every time they use the washroom and before every meal.

Send ill staff home - they are less productive and taking this step will limit infection amongst colleagues.

Clean shared items regularly such as photocopiers, phones and door handles with sanitary wipes as a virus can last on surfaces for hours and sometimes even days. Use a specialist provider of IT hygiene and cleaning services. Provide antibacterial hand gel in places of frequent use.

Encourage regular exercise. Whether regular organised activities or corporate membership of a local gym or fitness centre exercise reduces the likelihood of staff becoming ill and also reduces stress making staff feel empowered and better about themselves. Businesses can further support this by offering smokers ‘stop smoking’ initiatives.

Provide disposable tissues. Staff are occasionally going to cough and sneeze, encourage them to do so in a hygienic way. Coughing or sneezing into a tissue then disposing of it immediately and washing hands after.

Wrap up warm to and from work. Our bodies are more susceptible to colds and flu viruses when we are not sufficiently covered up. A hat, scarf, gloves and thick socks are a good place to start. Layers of clothing to trap the air and insulate better.

For further info please visit: Ambius

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