Despite a summer that keeps on giving, winter is closing in and 2017 was the worst flu season ever experienced in Australia. If 2018 is even close to being similar, for business that means absenteeism and a seriously negative impact on productivity and profitability.
So now is the time to be pragmatic and take some basic preventative measures to minimise the impact of the winter blues on your operation.
Employee health and wellness: we covered this topic in 2016, so re-read if you have your copy handy (or view online at www. smartermedia.com.au) and review the resources we provided at www.gethealthyatwork.com.au and www.thefoodyoueat.com.au
Preventative health measures: place hand sanitisers throughout your workplace to encourage clean hands and prevent transmission of germs. Generous employers may like to consider paying for employees to get a flu shot as an additional preventative measure. It may be a small price to pay to keep your staff working this winter.
Encourage healthy eating: drinking plenty of water is a standard health directive, so make sure your staff have easy access to drinking water throughout the workplace and replace the biccy barrel in the break room with a fresh fruit basket.
Get cooking: all-in-one soup makers are quite inexpensive and easy to use. Why not get one for your workplace and encourage everyone to make healthy soups for lunch. Run a roster or a My Soup Rules contest so everyone can showcase their culinary skills while eating healthier options than the usual winter comfort food.
Plan for absenteeism: despite everyone’s best efforts, chances are you will have an increased level of absenteeism during winter. Due either to sick workers or their need to stay home to care for sick children. To keep your operation on track, plan ahead and work ahead, get done whatever you can ahead of time to minimise the impact or develop work-from-home plans.
Reduce energy costs: a major impact on business, so check for draughts in your building which impact the effect of heating and increase energy costs. Check that all heating appliances are energy efficient and clean air-conditioning units to ensure they’re not spreading unwanted particles into the atmosphere.
Help others: show your corporate generosity and donate to charity winter appeals with either money or warm clothes and blankets. Get everyone involved and make it a team effort.
Then settle in for a productive and profitable winter!