5 Ideas for Keeping Employee Sickness to a Minimum

Encouraging your employees to stay healthy is the right thing to do. It’s also just good business. When your workers aren’t there, or when they are there but functioning at a diminished level because of illness, then the company suffers. A recent poll found that businesses in the U.S. lost around $153 billion each year in productivity because of unhealthy employees. Below is a list of things you can do to help keep your workers in good health.


  1. Give your employees more chances to exercise. If you run an office, chances are most of your workers sit in chairs at desks in front of screens all day. That means very little motion, despite the fact that physical activity is good for overall health. If you can bring exercise equipment into your workplace, consider doing that. If you can’t, then think about giving employees a chance to visit a nearby gym during working hours.
  2. Inspire healthier eating habits. If your nutritional choices tend to be poor, then that may adversely affect your overall health. You can’t necessarily stop your employees from eating fast food lunches every day, but you can strive to provide them with alternatives. See if you can make fresh fruit available, or at least stock your break room vending machines with snacks like granola bars rather than potato chips.
  3. Keep the office clean. Illnesses often get spread when people touch surfaces with germ-covered hands. These could include door handles, keyboards, phones, or any other communal objects. It’s a good idea to periodically sanitize these items as part of a normal office cleaning regimen. Keep in mind that dust and dirt are bad for allergies too!
  4. Encourage smart hygiene habits. A lot of this goes back to what we learned in grade school. Still, many adults often forget and your business may pay the price. When you sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth! And don’t do it with the hand you then use to open a door or greet a client! Sneeze into your arm or a handkerchief, and make sure to wash your hands often if you are unwell, like you always do before you prepare food or after you use the bathroom.
  5. Allow employees to stay home if they are sick. Illnesses often spread because sick people insist on coming to work. They then infect the whole office. Give your employees access to sick time, and encourage them to use it when they need it. And consider expanding your work-from-home policy.

No one wants to be sick. And no one wants their business to suffer because of sickness. Follow these tips, and hopefully you can keep everyone going strong.