No one wants to work around people who are sick, especial during flu season. But how many of your company’s employees would stay home if they weren’t feeling well?
In a recent survey by Mansfield Communications, 91% of employees (not surprisingly) said flu-ridden co-workers should stay home.
But most of them aren’t listening. According to the survey of more than 2,000 Americans:
- 84% said the recession creates more pressure to show up to work, even if they’re sick, and
- 47% said they’d still engage in public activities like riding the bus and going to the grocery store, even if they had swine flu.
With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommending those with the swine flu stay home for at least seven days, some managers might be reluctant to tell workers to take time off, especially in departments that are already understaffed. That could be one reason 69% of employees haven’t heard anything about their companies’ policies regarding H1N1.
How should firms prepare? The most important step experts recommend: Get sick employees to stay home. Luckily, many jobs can still get done from an employee’s home. But companies to prepare now so the telecommuting infrastructure is in place before everyone gets sick.
Also, many businesses have started cross-training employees so that essential jobs will still get done even with several absences.
Companies can check out these online resources for flu preparedness help:
- CDC’s Communication Toolkit — Includes facts you can share with employees, health tips and sample policies.
- Flu.gov — Offers a guide for businesses and information on vaccines.
- FluTracker — Find out how big the threat is in your area.
How is your company preparing for a swine flu outbreak? Let us know in the comments below.