Sickness season and employee absences
As Autumn progresses and the temperature outside falls, we embark upon sickness season. Coughs, colds, flu and general illness may see a spike in your employee absence figures, which often causes more stress to those left in the office as they try to cover more than their own work. So how about this year, your office takes proactive measures to help halt the spread of sickness through your work force, with these simple measures.
If humans are merely house plants with more complicated emotional needs, then these first two are non negotiable at any time of year, but are critical during the sickness season.
Now this may seem far too obvious a statement to make, and it is, but it needs making none the less. Employees who rely on 10 cups of tea or coffee to get them through the day are, in all likelihood, dehydrated. This affects mood and concentration, but also places an unnecessary stress on the body, making it more vulnerable to infection.
So what can you do as an employer to help? I’d recommend providing naturally caffeine free herbal teas, and de-caffeinated tea and coffee options. Putting a jug or reusable glass bottle of water in the fridge means everyone can access a glass of chilled water at any time.
Get some sunlight
Getting sunlight mightn’t be the easiest thing to do in the depths of a British winter. Your employees’ best chance of getting any sunlight at all, is during the working day. Encourage employees to regularly go outside during the working day.
Maybe you could encourage this with old skool style play ground games. A ball, hoola hoop, hoopla, skipping rope. Not only will this dollop of innovative nostalgia give employees something to do outside, it’ll give them a non work related reason to interact, laugh, have fun and connect. These are all really powerful motivating and basic human need meeting activities that will strengthen communication and relationships within your staff team. Which could lead to higher levels of work satisfaction, engagement and productivity. Don’t underestimate the power of play and fun in releasing tension, building relationships and boosting immunity – all of which will have a positive impact on productivity.
The winter months may well be when we least want to be outside exercising, but they’re also the time when we most need to be. Employees need to get out of the stuffy office environment. They need to get away from breathing in everyone else’s germs. This is key to boosting immunity and reducing the continual cycle of illness within the office.
If you’ve taken on board point 2, then perhaps your employees are already regularly taking breaks outside, which is great. Now to increase activity while outside.
How about starting up a lunchtime walking group? Or introducing an element of competition between teams to see which team reaches the highest number of steps? Perhaps more interesting competitions could involve obstacle courses. What about the number of ball catches? Or even the learning of a dance routine to flash mob in the office or at the Christmas party?
Have fun and be creative with the exercises you encourage your employees to do during the working day. Find out if anyone is harbouring a hidden talent and encourage them to share it. You’ll also increase laughter and motivation – which as I’ve already mentioned, have a huge impact on wellbeing and productivity. It’s a total win-win!
As Christmas approaches, the fatty and sugary snacks prevail. It’s easy to get sucked into providing the wrong sort of snacks to employees. Aim to provide snacks that will keep energy levels stable. We don’t want the high spike and then total crash caused by sugary and fatty treats like chocolate and cakes. Look to provide foods which also boost immunity, rather than deplete it.
Fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C are a great idea. They’re seasonal too. Oranges and satsumas, dates, nuts and seeds are all great choices. Maybe even consider a warming soup, like roasted red pepper or broccoli – both vegetables high in vitamin C. Juices containing some key health boosting ingredients like turmeric, ginger and spinach are also a good idea.
Make it easy for your employees to eat healthily by providing them with healthy treats. You’ll see an increase in mood and energy. This should also result in greater productivity, as well as healthier and happier employees.
The above are all ideas to try to boost immunity. Increasing Vitamin C levels are thought to help to increase white blood cell production. A good vitamin D intake boosts mood. Reducing stress by increasing human interaction and increasing activity levels as listed above are all pretty easy things any organisation can do with minimal expenditure.
Massage is also thought to help boost immunity. It does this by increasing white blood cell production. It also helps in the removal of toxins from the body by encouraging the movement and drainage of the lymphatic system. Massage is also a fantastic way to take time out. To release physical and mental stresses and strains, reconnect body and mind, and boost the feel good endorphins.
So perhaps this year, instead of a boozy Christmas night out, why not consider treating your employees to a work place massage instead? Avoid the boozy party social and physical problems and the drop in immunity caused by alcohol. Instead choose immunity boosting massage accompanied by my diffuser and immune boosting essential oils.
Seated Acupressure is performed over clothing, uses no oils, and targets the key areas of upper and lower back, neck, shoulders and arms. It is perfect for all, but especially desk and computer bound employees. For more information, or to book, please use the contact form on this website, or my facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/calmatworkltd
Thank you for reading my blog. If you’ve any topic you’d like me to focus a future blog post on, please just drop me a line.
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