Thirty-one million work days were lost to minor illnesses like coughs and colds last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That’s the equivalent of 84,934 years.
It’s an increase on the previous year. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of working days lost to minor illnesses increased by more than a quarter to 31 million days. In fact, research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that minor ailments like colds are responsible for 95 per cent of short-term absence.
Common ailments can easily be picked up in the workplace, which is why Irongate Group is encouraging businesses to clean up their act and be proactive in creating good wellbeing in the workplace.
Pam Wakefield, facilities specialist at Irongate Group explained:
“Bacteria and germs can spread and grow around a workplace really quickly. In less than five hours, 500 bacteria can become 16,000,000.”
As part of its initiative to get businesses more involved in workplace wellbeing, Irongate Group has teamed up with Deb Group Limited, to help tackle germs in the workplace and reduce absenteeism.
“Most germs are spread by our hands and germs can stay alive on hands for up to three hours. That’s why it’s so important to teach employees about the importance of handwashing and keeping surfaces clean.
“Office desks can be up to 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat, so businesses should provide necessary resources for cleaning computers, keyboards, phones and desks regularly to get rid of bacteria that’s hanging around on the tools we use every day at work.”
Workplace wellbeing is on the rise in organisations up and down the country. When surveyed by CIPD, 63 per cent of organisations said that making their company a great place to work is the main reason for increasing their workplace wellbeing efforts.