Ways to Reduce Illness in the Office

by Lawton Brothers | Nov 30, 2020


In a 2015 study by the CDC Foundation, over $200 billion is lost in productivity due to absenteeism annually. This is largely due to the high number of Americans who go to work while under the weather. In most cases, the CDC and other organizations recommend providing ample sick days and workplace contingencies to ensure work is completed in place of an absence. Even still, 54% of employees go to work when they are sick, not for lack of sick days, but because they feel like they have too much work to do. So how can we reduce illness and loss of productivity in the office? Cleanliness and awareness. 


Your daily cleaning routine should include wiping down hot spots. Hot spots are areas that receive high traffic and a large amount of contact between people. Some great examples of office hot spots are the coffee maker, refrigerator, bathroom door handles, faucets, and light switches. Go over these spaces as often as needed with a disinfecting solution. Most often, the disinfectant will need to stand on the surface for a time before being wiped off, so always double-check the instructions or data sheet for information. 


One major way to limit illness in the workplace is with information. Make sure employees understand the risks of the flu and other illnesses common in your area. Additionally, ensure staff is using proper wellness etiquette. This includes sneezing into elbows and washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. 

Consider placing signs in areas where people are likely to look to serve as a reminder. A friendly “Wash Your Hands” sign above the sink or light switch can encourage good habits. Additionally, requiring or urging sick employees to stay at home can drastically improve productivity and reduce illness. Furthermore, sick employees who stay home are also likely to get better faster than those that go to work. 

Finally, distance is key. If you believe someone is exhibiting symptoms of a cold or flu, try to avoid close contact with them. This includes sharing items such as phones, pens, or snacks. While this can be difficult in some situations, the recommended distance one should maintain from an ill party is 6 feet or more.

Have questions?

Whether you’re looking for a disinfectant or have questions about our equipment repair, Lawton Brothers is just a call away. As your go-to for commercial cleaning and janitorial products since 1946, we have nearly 5000 items stocked in four Central Florida warehouses for your convenience. Let us help with cleaning and training. Give us a call today at: 800.432.0813.

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