As the Omicron coronavirus variant and now the monkeypox cases continue to sweep across the UK, businesses are grappling with staff absences that are about double their usual level.
The CBI business group reported that staff absence rates averaged 10-15% across the country at the beginning of the year, significantly higher than the usual 5-6%. This is still particularly apparent in sectors such as hospitality and retail and in areas where the virus is most prevalent.
With the Public health officials set to announce more UK monkeypox cases and efforts ramping up to contain the first multinational outbreak of the virus, for many businesses, this means a rise in absenteeism as employees take sick days to recover or isolate themselves.
“Monkeypox can be a serious infection, with mortality rates from this type of monkeypox virus having been around 1% in other outbreaks. These are often in lower-income settings with limited access to health care,” said Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton.
To minimise the spread of viruses in your workplace, it is essential to have a plan. Businesses can do a few things to minimise the spread of viruses in the workplace. Here are a few tips.
One of the best ways to minimise the spread of viruses in your workplace and have a clean workplace is to encourage employees to get a Covid-19 vaccination if they haven’t had one yet or isolate if they have come in close contact with someone infected with monkeypox. The vaccine can help protect employees from catching the virus and help reduce the severity of symptoms if they get sick.
Encourage Hand Washing and Sanitation
Another vital way to minimise the spread of viruses in your workplace is to encourage employees to wash their hands regularly and practice good sanitation habits. Employees should wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after coming into contact with someone who is sick. In addition, it is essential to provide employees with access to hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces that may be contaminated with viruses.
Screening Employees and Visitors
Another way to minimise the spread of viruses in your workplace is to screen employees and visitors for symptoms of illness. This can be done by taking temperatures at entry points into your workplace or by asking employees and visitors to complete a health questionnaire. If someone is displaying symptoms of illness, they should be asked to leave the premises and seek medical attention.
Educate Employees on the Importance of Sick Days
It is essential to educate employees on taking sick days when they are ill. Employees should know that it is important to stay home when they are suffering to prevent the spread of illness. In addition, employees should be aware of the flu symptoms and other common diseases to seek medical attention if necessary.
Have a Checklist for Cleaners
If you have a cleaning crew, be sure to provide them with a checklist of areas to be cleaned and disinfected daily. This will help ensure that your workplace is clean and free of viruses. By cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly, such as doorknobs, door handles, stair railings, bars, desks, phones, kitchens, shared computers, cash registers, elevator buttons, and restaurant tables/menus.
Hire A Professional Cleaning Company
A clean and professionally organised office space can encourage employees to come to work more often. Another way to help minimise the spread of bacteria and viruses in your workplace is to hire a professional cleaning company. Professional office cleaners can help to clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with viruses. In addition, they can also provide employees with tips on how to avoid getting sick.
Read More: How To Hire A Professional Cleaning Company?
Encourage to Wear a Mask at Work
Research has shown that wearing a mask can help reduce the spread of viruses. It is essential to encourage employees to wear a mask at work, especially if they are in close contact with others.
Keep the Office Well Ventilated
Flu particles can stay airborne for up to eight hours, so keeping the office well ventilated is important. This can help reduce the concentration of viruses in the air and help prevent the spread of illness.
Add Physical Barriers in the Office
Adding physical barriers in the office can help to reduce the spread of viruses. Physical barriers can include things like partitions, screens, and desks. It is essential to encourage employees to use these barriers when possible.
Provide Single-use Tissues and Trash Bins
It is essential to provide employees with access to single-use tissues and trash bins. This will help to reduce the spread of viruses in your workplace. Single-use tissues should be used to cover coughs and sneezes and should be disposed of immediately.
Provide hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes
It is crucial to provide employees with access to hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes. This will help them to clean surfaces that may be contaminated with viruses. In addition, it is essential to encourage employees to wash their hands regularly and practice good sanitation habits.
Monitor Employee Health
It is important to monitor employee health to identify any potential illness. Employees should be encouraged to report any disease symptoms to be treated appropriately.
Do Not Share Cups, Glasses, Dishes and Cutlery
Sharing cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery can increase the risk of spreading viruses. It is important to avoid sharing these items if possible. If you must share these items, it is vital to wash them thoroughly with soap and water before using them.
Remove Magazines and Papers
Magazines and papers in areas such as receptions, break rooms, and kitchens can be a source of viruses. It is vital to remove these items from your reception area. If you must keep these items in your reception area, it is essential to disinfect them regularly.
Stay home if you are sick.
It is important to stay home if you are sick to prevent the spread of illness. Employees should be aware of the symptoms of the flu and monkeypox, and other common diseases to seek medical attention if necessary. In addition, it is essential to encourage employees to take sick days when they are ill.
Limiting visitors to your office
Limiting the number of visitors to your office can help reduce the spread of viruses. It is essential only to allow essential visitors into your office and to provide them with information on how to prevent the spread of illness. In addition, it is vital to encourage employees to limit their contact with visitors.
Workplace hygiene plays a vital part in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses. You can take several steps to minimise the spread of viruses in your workplace. It is essential to encourage employees to wear masks with close contact, good hygiene practices, and stay home if sick. In addition, it is crucial to provide employees with access to hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce the spread of viruses in your workplace.
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