The last year (and change) has been an instructive time for all of us in a number of ways, but perhaps the clearest lesson for any of us is to do with health.
People’s health is often taken for granted and we don’t realize how fragile it may be.
While some individuals have argued that Covid primarily affected those with underlying conditions, others have pointed out that those conditions included moderate asthma and hypertension – conditions that are hardly rare.
It has become more important than ever before for us all to be concerned with not just our own health, but that of others.
Again, while the pandemic may not have held too many fears for those who were young and healthy, it was all too easy for the healthy to catch the virus and pass it on to those who were less fortunate.
And if you are an employer, then the necessity to focus on the health of your employees is all the greater. You rely on them to be at their best, so you owe it to them to give them the best shot at being so.
Consider your workplace sickness policy
A fashion has developed within numerous businesses to place sickness on the disciplinary scale when assessing employees. In these cases, an employee who is sick may be placed on the disciplinary pathway for an absence through illness.
Now, think about that for a moment. How many cases of workplace transmission happen because an employee who is clearly ill feels the need to come in anyway, so as not to risk their job?
Seen in the light of Covid, this seems a reckless policy – but even with the common cold, it’s arguable that workplace sickness policies need to be rethought.
Make your office a healthy space
As well as taking a more nuanced approach to employee sickness, your office or commercial premises can be improved to make it healthier for everyone.
Six feet of social distancing isn’t a necessity outside of a major health emergency, but you should also allow more space between workstations – cramming employees into limited space is a recipe for transmission.
You should also, especially in light of the airborne nature of this particular health issue, consult the likes of the Duct Doctor, ensuring that your office HVAC system is up to muster.
Cleaner air is better for your employees – that’s simply common sense.
Mental health affects more than the mind itself
If you hear that a friend, a colleague or an acquaintance is suffering from stress or depression, it’s likely that you’ll think “That’s a shame, I hope they feel better soon, I should look out for them”.
That’s very much the right way to think about things, but you should also bear in mind that mental health conditions have physical health consequences: stress and depression make you more prone to hypertension, gastroenterological problems, and infections among other issues.
Ensuring that employees have access to daylight and aren’t subject to excessive demands on a daily basis isn’t just a kindness to them – it will help you, too, in the long run by limiting absenteeism and allowing workers to be more enthusiastic.
Employers can aid the health of their workers in a number of ways, and keeping those in mind is essential when it comes to getting the best results on a consistent basis.