It’s swine flu season, and many companies are facing a great challenge: allowing people time off to prevent disease from spreading — without putting too big a dent in productivity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend employees with swine flu stay home for seven days or until they’ve been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever’s longer, according to a recent Chicago Tribune article.
Seven or more days is a long absence, especially in this economy. Many managers will probably be reluctant to allow that much time off. But they need to understand how low productivity could drop if the flu spreads to several workers.
Some of the ways the Tribune reports companies are dealing with the issue:
- Financial company CME Group, Inc., has beefed up its telecommuting capacity so more employees can work from home if necessary.
- In addition to offering seasonal flu shots and adding hand sanitizer dispensers in its offices, Kraft developed a special emergency response plan that includes options such as bringing employees from other areas to plants hard hit by absenteeism.
- Ravinia Plumbing and Heating, a company of fewer than 40 employees, has cross-trained workers so operations won’t be disrupted if some folks are absent.
Has your company taken any steps to deal with the anticipated swine flu outbreak? Let us know in the comments section below.