Sussed the REAL cost of staff unwell at work yet?

Woman seething steam
You’re paying 12 months’ salary, you’re getting 9 months’ value – the rest gets siphoned away by workplace germs

Sure, sure, Frank’s head feels like boiled knitting, but he’s there at his desk. Unwell as all hell but committed and going for it. A good, reliable trouper.

Also unfortunately, doing more harm than good. More liability than asset.

Because how can anyone focus with a head like boiled knitting? Be alert and watchful, ready for advantage? Or sharp as a razor, alive to the possibilities of somebody pulling a fast one?

And how about detail? Remembering procedure? Recording every step so there’s no comebacks? Good, reliable and watching your back?

Productivity down the drain

Not likely to be happening is it? Which could actually cost a lot of money. Especially if mistakes are involved – big ones as well as small ones. Or opportunities are not followed up. None of which would happen if he booked off sick. Send him home!

Which would make it one of the six days a year that EVERY staff member books off absent,  according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Not the full story about being unwell at work though, hey?

Including yourself, there’s loads more – affecting every one of your team. Ignoring that cold because there’s work piling up. Living with those stomach cramps. Grinding teeth against the pounding head, determined not to give up.

Yes, but not performing at 100% either. Sometimes more like 40%.

The HR people call it “presenteeism” – people who drag themselves into work feeling like death. Worried about work load, or imposing on colleagues, or even job security.

Which accounts for 10 times more than absenteeism says a GCC report approved by the WHO.

Nearly 60 days, the equivalent of THREE WORKING MONTHS. 66 days if you include the 6 days off as well.

Losing out on full value

So effectively every salary in the place is only for nine months out of twelve. Nine months at full productivity and top performance. Three months of iffy, erratic going through the motions.

All of which means remove the CAUSE of workplace unwell-ness, and you increase productivity by a third. Not for just one staff member, but ALL of them. The equivalent of one third extra trained and motivated staff. All FREE, because everybody’s salary is a full 12 months, not 9 – already paid for.

And the major cause of unwell-ness?

Catching a germ. Coming down with some bug that makes people feel lousy without forcing them into their beds. Not taking time off to make it get better. Spreading it around so everyone else catches it too. Suddenly snowballing the presenteeism cost from one person to many.

So what is the real presenteeism cost?

For an average salary of around £22,000, you can reckon on over £6,000 per staff member per year. Or if you want to be more accurate, here’s a calculator to work out your own figures.

Restoring the balance

Plus of course, you need to add in make-good for all the mistakes, omissions and fumbled passes that team members might make while they’re feeling off colour. Which in a worst case scenario could easily wind up at over £32,000 for a single staff member.

Fortunately, most of this is fixable. You CAN claim an extra third productivity at no extra cost.

By being a top level workplace guardian and eliminating germs in the workplace. And believe us, there’s plenty germs there. When news is slack, newspapers bring us reports like this several times a year.

OK, there’s still going to be people with bad backs, or battling with depression, or living with pregnancies. Lots of people have underlying conditions they just have to live with.

But even they can benefit from having no germs around. Take away the minor ailments and people feel good. Like endorphins kicking in after a gym session – without the cost of gym membership.

Press the button

And easy peasy too, just by pressing a button.

The one on a machine called a Hypersteriliser – a portable, fully automatic gadget that mists up the place after everyone’s gone home. Whoosh, all viruses and bacteria are oxidised to nothing. Forty minutes later, the whole place is sterile.

First thing in the morning, people clock in to a germ-free workplace. No germs, no unwell-ness, 100% productivity.

You’re the workplace guardian, you’ve protected their health – Priority One before all the other feel-good things you’ve put in place.

Now how healthy would that look on your balance sheet?

This post takes inspiration from a report on workplace guardians that appeared in Facilities Management Journal. Well done, gals and guys. Looks like we’re all about to save a lot of money.

Picture Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Germs at work make even superstars incompetent

Stressed-out executive
Unwell at work – when even the most brilliant staffers can lose the plot

Incompetent. Incapable. Dodgy, like loose cannons.

That’s what staff are like when they’re not feeling well. Yet still they keep dragging themselves into work.

Blundering through the day. Making mistakes. Fumbling through jobs that will have to be done again.

Losing business and irritable with it. Costing money, though driven by the best of motives. More liability than asset.

All from some bug they picked up from their desk, or stirred around by the air-con.  Sneezed up by somebody else, who should be home in bed.

Or lurking on the touchscreen in the conference room.

The cost of presenteeism

Whatever it is – according to a presenteeism article in health and safety magazine EHS Today – it drains away 57.5 days of work capability per staff member every year. Almost 3 working MONTHS.

And that’s on top of the regular 6 days sick leave calculated by the CIPD in their annual Absence Management report.

A whopping 63.5 days of non-productivity that all organisations pay for. A whole third more working days of talent and capability than they’re getting right now. Wasted resources that could be turned into cash.

£££ going nowhere

How much cash?

Here’s a calculator to give you perspective – based on the two sources above.  If you were ever wondering how to achieve better efficiency – and substantial extra revenue without extra effort – your own figures could shock you.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Not at their best through no fault of their own – unwell, incompetent staffers cause strain among colleagues as well. The stress of covering errors and taking up the slack triggering a whole domino effect of faltering productivity across a further 40% of staff.

Serious money. And a serious problem that never occurs to anyone. Unseen and unrecognised – yet an accepted cost of doing business. Yeah, so people get ill, what can you do?

On the button

Actually, just press a button and the problem goes away.

The button on a Hypersteriliser machine that mists up the workplace with ionised hydrogen peroxide when staff are gone home. Oxidising ALL viruses and bacteria to oblivion so the whole place is sterile.

https://hyperhygiene.co.uk/hydrogen-peroxide/

With no germs around, people can’t get ill. And a whole chunk of revenue you never saw before is suddenly dumped in your lap. Your bonus for getting rid of germs.

It won’t fix all ailments of course.

Some people have long term non-contagious conditions. And inevitable work stress brings other challenges. Depression and lack of confidence have dimmed many stars. Plus unavoidably, there are injuries and accidents.

Germs bad for business

But germs are the major chunk and just keep happening. Because though you might be able to protect your best assets at work, you can’t watch over them in the big wide world. They will go out there and catch a bug – too many unhygienic places and people.

Next thing, they’re at their desks. In the office, but totally out of it – doolally but incompetent . Present, but not correct.

Send them home, then press the button again. Get rid of their germs.

You don’t want to lose all that money, now you’ve just started to recover it.

With special thanks to EHS Today  and the CIPD.

Picture Copyright: BDS / 123RF Stock Photo

2017 bonus – productivity up a third with exactly the same staff

Revved-up team
When people feel well, they perform better. Help them perform all the time – you win, and so do they

Nothing to lose, you see. No coughs or colds. No sitting at a desk with a pounding headache. Productivity untouched.

All the hours you’re paying for at full strength. Easy peasy with staff revved up and going for it.

Nobody off sick while work takes a back seat.

Full performance

Nobody off-colour either. Going through the motions while they feel like death. Grumpy with customers, missing details, making mistakes but grimly determined.

No, no. None of that.

It’s your New Year’s present to them – and to yourself.

No more germs in the office.

No more picking up somebody else’s bug. No more sick days. No more off days. No more feeling less than 100%.

Up and ready, raring to go. Full of bounce and feeling good with it. On a high from being healthy and reacting to it. Ready to conquer the world.

That’s what you get when everyone’s on song. Maximum productivity, maximum efficiency, everyone motivated and WANTING to achieve – all 250 working days of the year.

Everyone worth every penny of their salary – and KNOWING they’re giving their best.

A little duty of care

And all it takes is a little extra attention. A little extra showing that their health is important – beyond cleaning the place every night, and keeping it neat and tidy. By getting rid of the germs that every workplace has – especially with lots of people all working together.

Yes, people DO get sick and need time off. Six days a year on average, according to the CIPD. And more often than not, from bugs picked up at work. Sore throat, sniffles, tummy problems – sometimes even more serious.

On top of that though, there’s all the days when people don’t feel well, but drag themselves into work anyway – what HR experts call presenteeism.

They might be there and committed, but their performance is hardly their best. How can it be, when everything is an effort, a challenge just to stay focused?

And what does that do to your business?

Not sick, not well either

According to a GCC report validated by the WHO, it affects 10 TIMES more than the standard 6 days off sick. A loss through under-powered performance of 60 days productivity – on top of the necessary absence. A total of 66 days that affects ALL OF US, not just the unlucky ones.

Which makes getting rid of germs a vital business necessity.

Around one-third of staff productivity is riding on it. Money that you’re already paying out, but getting nothing for. Cash that should be bank-rolling new projects and enabling new projects – instead of being wasted on cough, splutter, sneeze.

It’s so easily fixed too.

Every treatment of your workplace by a Hypersteriliser machine eliminates ALL viruses, bacteria, fungi and mould. First thing in the morning the place is sterile. Safe, secure and germ-free. All oxidised to nothing by hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce naturally to fight germs.

Looking after the pennies

Oh sure, it’s an expense you don’t face at the moment. You could shove it aside and keep going as you always have. And keep paying for the 66 days of lost productivity every one of your staff is costing you – including yourself. It’s money you don’t see anyway, so what the heck?

Not a lot of sense to turning your back on it though, is there?

For not much more than you’re already paying for daily cleaning, you can have reliable workplace hygiene too. Be sure of full staff performance all the time. Get full value for money from every one of your high-powered team.

Plus the inevitable bonuses when everyone’s healthy and well. More smiles, more can-do, more attention to detail, more positive attitudes.

A lot of organisations would pay big money to achieve all of those. But you can do it with just the press of a button. The one on the Hypersteriliser that starts getting rid of germs.

The one that puts a whole new perspective on your all-up productivity.

Picture Copyright: iordani / 123RF Stock Photo

One-third extra staff – FREE

Business team walking
When they’re well they deliver 100% – and now they can give a third extra

It’s called making the impossible possible. Extra staff at no extra cost. People you already know and trust. Already familiar with how you work and committed to it.

Even better, they’re your EXISTING staff, already in place and going for it. The difference is, they’re available to you full time – beyond the regular hours they serve at the moment.

Your best assets – used to the full

Yes, you’re already paying them – so yes, they’re already in your budget.

It’s just that now – without it costing you a bean more – those same staff can deliver much greater value for money. Specifically, another third of their time. The third you’re not currently getting because they’re off sick, or struggling with an unwell feeling at their desks.

Six days a year is the average time staff are absent because they’re sick.

But every year for ten times longer than that – in what the HR people call “presenteeism” – they’re all at work struggling with anything from a cold to a major tummy upset. There’s a lot of work on, but they can’t take hands off. Or maybe they’re worried about job security.

Whatever it is, they’re determined to be above it. So they drag themselves into work and force themselves. Feeling grim but ignoring it. Trying to do their job as if nothing is wrong. And that’s how it is for around 60 days a year – three whole working months.

Trouble is though, it’s hard to give 100% when you’re not well. When your head aches or your insides are in knots, 75% might nearer the mark – or often, even less. Concentration is a battle, so things take twice as long.  And at less than full attention, quality inevitably takes a dip.

Less than 100%

Reality is, like that your staff are less than themselves. They might be reassuringly at their desks, but they’re not on full song. You’re paying for 100%, but through no fault of theirs, you’re getting 75%. And this is most likely happening for 60 days a year.

Which means out of 250-odd working days a year, you’re only getting 190. Less another 6 for actual days sick in bed, and that’s down to 184. But we’re all so used to carrying on when things aren’t perfect, that we’ve all got used it. It’s a cost of doing business.

It’s an invisible cost too. So it never shows up on our radar. There’s no “unwell offset” for under-performing productivity – no way to measure a pounding migraine against job expectations. It still costs money though – even if we can’t see it.

Money that’s paid for in time.

Tick, tick – time is money

So you have this high-powered IT expert working flat-out on meeting a quote deadline. And running to the loo every ten minutes, because last night’s takeaway chicken tikka was off. No way that job will be finished by tonight – or maybe even tomorrow night. Just grind your teeth and take it.

Which is how you’re already paying a massive presenteeism bill without even being aware of it.

Normally, things go quick and the team is very efficient. Get somebody off-colour though – and things take so incredibly LONG. Then worse, because they impact others, the delays snowball.

All of a sudden, a two day job takes two weeks. With all the unwanted knock-on effects. Other work displaced, late finishing penalties, sagging customer confidence.

Then colleagues of our IT expert get the runs too. Rushing back to the keyboard without washing hands. Raging e.coli all over the Shift key. Suddenly it’s not one IT expert running to the loo, it’s three. But all doggedly staying at their desks because they’re pros and committed to the job.

So two weeks drags to six.

Assets at risk

Sure, MOST OF THE TIME staff are up and running, everything hunky-dory – the 100% you pay for. But a whole extra third of their time could be 100% too.

250 days instead of 184.

If only they weren’t feeling like death warmed up. If only they weren’t unwell at work. If only they were protected from germs that cause illness in the workplace.

Lurking viruses and bacteria not removed by normal cleaning. Clinging to documents, on light switches, door handles, touchscreens and phones. Floating through the air, which is most of any room space. Behind cupboards and servers and photocopiers. In coils of wire, cracks and crevices.

The kind of places that normal cleaning cannot reach. The kind of germ-kill that normal cleaning cannot deliver. Concentrated bleach everywhere soon does people’s heads in.

All of which can be fixed right now with a Hypersteriliser – fully automatic sterilising of your whole workplace area so all germs are eliminated.

Complimenting your normal cleaning, a superfine mist of hydrogen peroxide disperses everywhere, oxidising germs to nothing. In 40 minutes, your place is sterile. No chance to feel unwell because there are no germs to catch.

Want proof?

Sniff the air. All smells – the sign of viruses or bacteria at work – should be gone.

Check mould. Most places have at least some. See how it’s no longer pitch black, but grey. How it brushes off easily now it’s dead.

Check your calendar. With everybody at full strength, jobs should sail through. No delays, no set-backs, your team of pros can deliver at 100% productivity.

With maybe a little plus, too.

Real health protection

Since they know you sterilise the place for their safety, their commitment is even stronger. They’re feeling well and healthy, it easier to go the extra mile. Full of beans, their job is FUN. It’s great to be alive, let’s go for it!

Of course, not all of them might feel like that. So you might not always get 100%. Some unwell feelings are long-term conditions beyond your control. Accidents, muscular pain, asthma and sensitive tummies all take their toll.

And not all germs originate in the workplace. It’s a big world out there, full of dodgy places and experiences. But at least if somebody brings in something, your hydrogen peroxide treatment will reduce it to nothing.

Plus look at the costs you avoid when unwell people make things go wrong.

Which makes staff extra healthy, extra safe, extra enthusiastic – and all for free.

Better than the £6,264 you would be losing on each of them otherwise (see last week’s blog).

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Wellness rebates keep yielding thousands, are you getting yours yet?

Exec in chair
Sitting pretty, free from germs – with all that money in the bank

Never heard of wellness rebates?

That’s the money a business gets back when staff are NOT  sick.

Not actual cash payments, but money in the bank. That big bulge, right there on your bottom line

Five grand per staff member per year, maybe even more.

Crazy not to claim it too – because all businesses can.

Easy peasy, just by pressing a button.

All those years of paying money for staff to be ill – not actually gone, but substantially reduced. Expenses most of us never even think about, usually just accepted as a cost of doing business.

Invisible costs cut to size

All staff get ill at some time, right? It’s a fact of life.

And when that happens, you keep paying for them – even though they’re not doing any work. Their desks are empty, their job is not done – while they’re at home in bed, feeling miserable.

£522 a year that’s costing you, according to the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). 6 days at £87 a day. That’s the median annual absence cost per employee in the private sector for 2016. It’s even more in the public sector – £835.

OK, so what do you do? Pull in temp staff to cover the gap, right? Without replacements there’s going to be holes. Which straight away doubles the sick cost to you – from £522 to £1,044.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Avoid staff going off sick, and you can save £1,044 per employee, per year.

15 staff  members passing a tummy bug around? That’s 15 times £1,044, right there. A grand total of £15,660 you’re out of pocket – paying for nothing, while staff stay home to get better.

But that’s not all.

The “presenteeism” problem

You know yourself there are times when you feel like death, but you HAVE to go to work anyway. Too much stuff to get done, or deadlines approaching. Or maybe you feel you’d better show your face – because if you don’t, there might not be a job to come back to.

OK, so you’re at work, head pounding or guts churning, but you’re going for it. Not exactly at 100%, are you? Taking longer to do stuff, not always noticing things, forgetting others, grumpy and difficult with everyone who tries to talk to you.

Uh huh. Your own experience tells you the truth of it.

You might be at your desk, but you’re under-performing. Which is how most of us are, 25% of the time. Grappling with asthma, backache, or twinges of IBS. Around 60 days a year that we’re not up to our best. What the HR people call “presenteeism” costs.

Which is TEN TIMES the days we booked off sick. And TEN TIMES the cost too – at £5,220.

Which, together with the cost of temp staff hauled in to cover – absenteeism plus presenteeism – comes to £6,264. Money you’re ALREADY PAYING OUT for one staff member per year.

And 15 staff members, because you’re all in the same office together? Do the math. That’s a whacking £93,960 – one heck of a bill to pay for basically nothing.

Getting your own back

OK, so what can you do about it? Plugging a leak like that could finance all kinds of things. Shouldn’t you be able to get some of that back?

Yes, there is. Which is what we mean by a wellness rebate. Recovering costs that are otherwise going down the drain.

Obviously you can’t recover all of it. Long term conditions like depression, COPD, or recurring migraines don’t go away – and accidents can make anybody under-powered.

But all of us are susceptible to germs – and all of us come down with some bug or other – usually when we least expect it.

That’s OK, as long as we isolate ourselves. Stay home and get better, without infecting anyone.

The trouble with germs is, they often incubate before we know they’re there. We can be carrying flu days before the first sneeze – or norovirus hours before the first violent upchuck.

Whoops, atchoo!

Meanwhile we’re contagious.

Everything we touch, everyone we talk to, can pick up whatever viruses or bacteria we have. Next thing, everyone is down with it. Bad news running a business that depends on human assets at full power all the time.

Which is where pressing the button comes in.

It’s the start button on a Hypersteriliser – a machine that destroys germs in enclosed workplaces by oxidising them with ionised hydrogen peroxide.

When staff go home, it mists up the entire place, reaching all surfaces and air spaces – even remote corners. Oxygen atoms clamp on to germs and rip them apart. In 40 minutes the whole place is sterile – to a Log 6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% elimination.

No viruses, no bacteria, no germs to make anyone sick. Everyone stays at 100% performance. And you’ve just saved yourself a massive chunk of £6,264 – or £93,960 if there’s 15 of you together in the office.

Not had a wellness rebate yet? Get on to your cleaning company and make waves. Or get a Hypersteriliser of your own.

At the rate you’re saving, it’ll pay for itself within weeks. Your staff will be bouncing around, full of the joys of spring. And you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Picture Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

Win back losses from unwell staff at half power

Problem girl
At work and unwell, you’re not yourself – at half power, making mistakes, more liability than asset

You know who they are. Dave, Fiona and Ranjit. The workaholics. Utterly committed and always at their desks. Unwell, but determined to finish the job. Doing themselves no favours. Nor you either.

Because feeling like that, how can they do anything straight? Half power, half attention, half as good as they usually are – there’ll be mistakes for sure. Big ones that cost money.

They’ll miss things too. Impossible not to, when your head’s not with it. Little details, like a decimal point. Kinda risky with a million-pound deal.

Besides, sitting there with their germs, they’ll infect everyone else. The whole place at half power, or rows of empty desks? No business can afford this, you’re haemorrhaging money.

Damage control

First off, send them home to get better. They’re costing you more at their desks than taking time off.

At least with time off, you only have to cover their salary. On the job at half power, you’re paying double for what they CAN do. Plus bankrolling any mistakes, lost deals, mislaid customer requests, contract overruns or late penalty clauses. A big bomb if you’re not careful.

Second, don’t take chances, make your workplace germ-free. Get rid of sick germs, plus any others that might be floating around. At least you’ll be protecting the rest of the staff – part of your duty of care, right?

So even though you’re a couple of team members down, at least everyone else is on song. They’re up and motivated and going for it. Plus they’ve seen how you handle your unfortunates – so they’re with you and fully in support.

Now at least, any money you have to spend is being constructive. Temp staff to handle the gaps, or maybe outsourced to experts. Bonuses and overtime for staff who double up. Everything under control.

Still costing a bomb though, isn’t it? Scribble them down and the totals get scary. You’ve got to do something fast.

Fixing it

So here’s how to stop it. And claw back the costs of your unwell-at-work heroes – by protecting them from illness in the first place.

Process the place with a Hypersteriliser – or ask your cleaning company to do it. A press-button simple way to protect staff health and make everything germ-free.

It’ a small wheelie-bin sized machine that mists up your workplace with an oxidising antimicrobial after regular cleaning is done. The actual stuff is ionised hydrogen peroxide –  forcibly dispersed in all directions by electrostatic charge.

Germs are destroyed on contact wherever they are – on, under or behind surfaces – or up in the air. Ripped apart by oxygen atoms, they have no hope of survival.

Your whole place has now reached a 6-log Sterility Assurance Level. That’s 99.9999% of all bacteria, viruses, fungi and mould destroyed – down to 1 microscopic germ cell per million.

Getting proof

How can you tell?

Well you can’t see germs anyway, but you can get a good indication. Smells, for instance, they’re gone. Like the forgotten coronation chicken sandwich jammed down the side of someone’s desk. The pong will come back if it’s not found and removed, but for now the place is fresh.

Likewise with any mould. The smell has gone. So has that dark black stain, now knocked back to a light grey. It comes off with a brush or a vacuum. Vanished for the moment  – though it too will come back if the cause of damp is not fixed.

So now you’re safe, your staff’s health is protected.

With no germs around, there’s chance for anyone to get sick. Kinda important when most of us are fighting on-going conditions anyway. The sort of things that germs make worse – migraines, arthritis, back pain, allergies, sinuses, asthma, COPD, skin conditions, or long-term depression.

Uh huh.

Back on track

But at least now, the money drain stops. All those unwell costs that you’ve somehow just absorbed as the price of doing business are gone.

And your staff are back, at 100% productivity.

You’re getting everything you pay for.

Charge more for cleaning – make your clients rich

Show me the money
Charge your clients a few hundred more – and help them recover thousands

Yes of course, charge more.

Not just for the same thing though, obviously.

For extra added oomph.

The same top-level service you give at the moment. Plus the chance for your clients to claw back costs they’re maybe not even aware they’re paying.

£2,000 per employee per year – possibly 10 times that.

Value for money plus

Worth a bob or two if they’re going to recover that kind of money don’t you think? And as you’ll see, worth every penny.

Because you’re not just going to clean the place, you’re going to eliminate all the germs as well. Make your clients’ workplaces sterile – protecting staff, customers and suppliers from any kind of virus or bacteria. Genuinely worth it to charge more.

No, no – not with a deep clean. You’ve been that road before and it’s just hard work.

Yes, a deep clean is more than you usually do, but with lots of rubbing and scrubbing. It doesn’t really take out ALL germs though, does it? Despite the strong smell of bleach, there’s still germs lurking, waiting to come back. And if you haven’t experienced that, you’ve never dealt with norovirus.

Besides, with the best will in the world, rubbing and scrubbing cannot reach every single nook and cranny to be sure the place is safe. Nor does it touch the air, which is 80% of most room spaces. Plenty of germs floating around in it though, remember how you caught your last bout of flu?

Claw back big money

Should give you a clue of how your clients will recover big money though. And why  you can charge more.

Get rid of the germs and you instantly chop a whole load of absentee costs.

People might be off sick, but they’re still on the payroll, even if they don’t receive sick pay. And the hole they leave by their absence has to be paid for as well. Doubling up, or getting in temps, it all costs money. And EVERYBODY goes sick at least once a year.

But that’s not the half of it, as you’ll know from running your own business.

The big costs come with “presenteeism”. Unwell people who drag themselves into work anyway. All in their places, going through the motions – and feeling like the end of the world doing it.

Yeah? Not very productive, is it?

Like having a car that’s off tune. Twice as much fuel to do the same thing, but without any performance. No power, no acceleration, no going up hills. Better off in the garage until it gets fixed. An unreliable resource.

And just think of the costs.

Invisible losses

According to the CIPD  (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), absenteeism averages at four days off work a year and costs an employer £522. Presenteeism is reckoned as costing 3 times that, bringing the total to £2,088 per employee per year.

OK, now getting rid of all germs is not going to turn things around completely. Accidents, backache and non-communicable illnesses like IBS account for a large chunk. But colds, flu and all kinds of tummy bugs are par for the course in most workplaces. Mostly accepted as that’s the way life is, you have to live with it.

Except take away the germs and they disappear. Personnel are less likely cross-infect each other. Less likely to get ill. Less likely to be half-well, pretending they’re at full power. Good reason to charge more.

Which suddenly relieves a whole load of productivity costs, doesn’t it?

Especially when the CIPD estimates are more modest than they might be. American experts put typical presenteeism “outages” at 57.5 days a year, almost 3 working months per employee per year. A heck of a whack to pay for something you’re not getting.

Thousands and THOUSANDS

Compare that with research by Oxford Economics that puts the cost of bringing a NEW employee up to speed from nothing at £30,000. That’s from zero productivity to “sort of” knowing the job in anywhere from 23 to 32 weeks. Not far off an experienced veteran, feeling like death, slogging away at 25% of normal capabilities, determined to shrug off a tummy bug.

Those aren’t the only costs either. How many mistakes does that same veteran make, not being able to concentrate properly? How many forgotten contacts? How many missed deadlines? How many cost issues could have been avoided by somebody fully alert and on the ball?

Big bucks, right? Money your clients are ALREADY LOSING, just by being normal. Thousands and thousands. More than off-setting the extra you might charge for getting rid of germs in the first place. And way more effective that just cleaning and making tidy.

So if not labour-intensive rubbing and scrubbing, how’s it done?

You’re going to love this.

Press the button

Just press a button.

Get yourself a Hypersteriliser machine, wheel it in, set the exposure time and as soon as your cleaning team has finished their regular work, hit start.

The place mists up with an ultra-fine spray of ionised hydrogen peroxide. So fine, it’s more gas than vapour – actually a gas plasma. The ionising makes it electrostatically charged – forcibly dispersing it in all directions, deep into cracks and crevices, hard up against all surfaces.

Underneath and behind everything too. The stuff permeates everywhere – that same charge reaching out and grabbing at viruses and bacteria like a magnet. Clamped on tight, oxygen atoms rip the germs’ cell structure to shreds. They are oxidised to nothing, eliminated, gone.

Forty minutes later and the place is sterile. No germs, no effort, no problem. Including the high-touch high-risk “fomite” areas that normal cleaning never reaches – keyboards, touch screens, light switches, lift buttons.

Charge more, it’s OK

Worth it to charge more for your range of services? On the cost recovery alone, how can your clients refuse? Thousands and thousands accepted as unavoidable till now, one of the overheads of doing business. An instant boost to their bottom line.

Yours too, for very little effort. All-automatic and push-button easy. A daily or weekly hygiene routine as essential as brushing your teeth. Good, steady, repeat business you can rely on.

Charge more? Sure, go ahead.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Your biggest enterprise risk ever – glossing over employee health

Heart attack woman
Unwell at work – massive risk to productivity, reputation and the health of other staff

Employees are your biggest asset – as long as they’re on song.

They might be motivated and committed to the eyeballs. But when breathing is a challenge because their chest is all blocked up, they’re about as useful as a fresh-out-of-school first-day rookie.

Worse really, because they try to do their job and fail.

Yet they’ve dragged themselves into work, insisting nothing is wrong. A losing battle with a vicious respiratory bug, picked up right in the office. Germs lingering on a keypad and circulating through the air-con. A hovering risk most of us never think about.

Well-meaning wreckers

Sick at work, we’ve all been there. Super-patriotic, staying with the job – people made of steel.

Until you calculate the risk. Do the math properly, no holding back.

Start with focus and concentration. But how much of that is grabs for the Ventolin every five minutes and a pounding head that won’t let up? Productivity maybe 25% or less, operating on autopilot.

Working the laptop from finger-memory because the head’s not  functioning. Going through the motions, not really there at all. Not seeing, not hearing, not perceiving, not assessing.

Not understanding either. Making mistakes, skipping over detail, doing more damage than a competition spy.

And all without question too. Key staff member, super-skilled and dedicated, doggedly determined, unswerving loyalty. Super risk, disguised as security.

Invisible risks

So if things start going wrong, they’re just accepted. Nothing comes easy. Setbacks happen.

If business flies out the door, shrug it off. Deadlines get missed, be sympathetic. Sales falter, chalk it up to experience. All misplaced devotion that’s costing big bucks. Huge uncontrolled risk.

Everybody too involved to insist: STAY HOME, GET BETTER, YOU’RE MORE USE OUT OF IT.

Counted the cost yet?

Hours and hours of big-ticket expertise without the performance. Unnecessary expenses, cost over-runs, lost revenue. One person playing martyr and you’ve lost thousands.

All indirect losses, out of sight, out of mind. Loss of use, lost productivity, loss of brand image, penalties, lost contracts…

Time for damage control – to stop taking risks.

Because where there’s one, there’ll be others. More people struggling to work unwell because they’ve “got to”. Too much to do, letting colleagues down, worried about deadlines, worried about having a job to come back to.

Prevention and avoidance

But what if they didn’t get sick in the first place?

What if the workplace was a secure, germ-neutral haven?

No germs to catch, no infections to pass on, nobody going off ill, no loss of productivity, no risk?

Of course people could still catch bugs outside. In the Great Wide World anything can happen.

But here in the workplace – SAFE.

Easier than you think too. In 40 minutes or so, all bacteria and viruses can be gone, the germ threshold down to zero . 99.9999% eliminated, a 6-log Sterility Assurance Level.

The machine that does it is easy too. Hit the button on the Hypersteriliser and the place mists up with ionised hydrogen peroxide that spreads everywhere. Germs are oxidised to nothing, the stuff reverts to oxygen and water – which evaporates.

Prevention, not a cure. The most effective health protection system in the world. Not a risk at all. Possibly the best safeguard for human assets you can get. Risk gone.

So think of your options. What it costs in pence, you’ll save in thousands of pounds.

Still want to risk things the old way?

Make norovirus gone – and stay gone!

GO AWAY lady
All those nasty bugs? They’ll have to GO now, you’ve got their number!

Actually, make ALL of them gone. All the tummy bugs – gastric flu, salmonella, campylobacter, e.coli, c.difficile. Whatever their fancy names are – make them totally gone.

All the other bugs as well – the colds, the twenty million types of flu, that foul rubbish MRSA and those full-of-themselves heavyweight jobs like TB, typhoid, cholera, ebola and zika.

Go away, gone, and don’t come back. Let us get on with living our lives. Just keep those germs away and staying away – we’ve all had enough.

It’s the “wash hands” thing, right?

Yeah, yeah, sure. We KNOW we’ve got to hike up our hygiene levels to do it – just don’t keep bugging us.

And get real too.

Yes, we know it’s important, but we’re not going wash our hands every five minutes. Like, get a life, where do you find soap and water, walking down the High Street? Ever tried to scrub your nails in the Underground?

Yes, we take chances and know we shouldn’t.

What, we’re going to stay home and hide under the bed instead?

So most of the time, we’re OK. Our hands don’t LOOK dirty. We live in a clean community with clean streets, fresh running water and proper sewage, we SHOULD be OK. And we’re most of us healthy, our immune systems kick in if there are any issues.

So what if we slip up now and then, and a bug gets through? Fix it!

OK, thanks for the antibacterial wipes and hand gel – should have thought of those. Easy to keep with us all the time, even down the High Street.

But what’s with this norovirus lark? The boomerang bug, or what? Keeps coming back, and back, and back. The clean-up squads go in there and do their stuff, three days later the gut-wrenching cramps, upchucks and runs are back again!

Same old, same old doesn’t work

Kinda says we should change the drill, doesn’t it? If gallons of bleach that pong like hell can’t fix it – or blokes in bunny suits squirting steam everywhere – what’s the point?

Pretty obviously that treatment isn’t getting to all the places it should. Bits get missed – and the darned virus is back again.

Not surprising with the gruesome way it works. Like “projectile vomiting”, what’s that about?

Only that bits of sick and puke wind up everywhere – not just where somebody hurls. Cleaning up the barf patch is all very nice, but how about everywhere else like these gaudy details in the National Geographic describe.

“Fine droplets released from sick people can float through the air and settle on food, on countertops, in swimming pools. They can survive freezing and heating and cleaning with many chemical disinfectants.”

Yeah? And how about those dark corners and underneath stuff? We need a new technique, and we need it NOW.

Fortunately there is one. And it works.

Gets rid of all the germs down to nothing, so there’s zip, nada, zilch to infect us. Zero germs, zero infection, what’s the problem?

The thing is called a Hypersteriliser, a nifty automatic machine about the size of a wheelie-bin. It’s made by the Halosil company in America.

And the hydrogen peroxide solution it uses is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Registration No. 84526-6), approved to kill norovirus and rhinovirus, influenza, HIV and a whole stack of others.

Uh huh.

So what it does is mist up the place with an ultrafine spray of hydrogen peroxide. IONISED hydrogen peroxide.

Super performance. super protection

That means it’s electrostatically charged, so every microscopic particle is shoving like crazy to get away from itself. Spreading everywhere, jamming itself into tight spaces, reaching into places you never knew existed.

Total dispersal, right? Any germs hiding anywhere, this stuff is going to find them.

Plus, surprise- surprise, that electrostatic charge is opposite to the charge that viruses and bacteria have. Which means these particles grab hold and clamp on like superglue, never letting go.

Next, they ram oxygen atoms at them, ripping apart their cell structure and oxidising them to oblivion. Oh, and because they’re ionised, they create a whole slew of other germ-killers to aid and abet. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. Boosted killing power.

Take that, varmints! Let’s see you come back from that!

You get the picture though. The place is germ-zero. Sterile nothing. You can’t catch no bugs because there aren’t any.

Which of course changes as soon as one of us waltzes in with our usual germ cloud in tow – yup, believe it or not, each of us has one. Plus of course whatever nasties we might have on our (did I wash my hands or didn’t I?) itching-to-get-to-work fingers.

Thing is though, that we won’t catch anything NEW. Our usual bugs are our usual bugs and we’ve been safe enough with them throughout the day until now. Step into a sterile room and we’re still safe. No nasty unseen surprises, we’re good to go.

Meanwhile all those other misery-guts germs are gone. ALL of them. And they ain’t coming back because there’s none of them lurking in dark corners to start a reinfection. Gone means gone. Sterile and secure until one of us brings in a NEW bug from outside.

But that’s another story.

Picture Copyright: darkbird / 123RF Stock Photo

So you escaped norovirus. Will you be so lucky when it comes back?

Escaping businessman
If it can come back to curse cruise ships four times in a row, it can come back to nail you too

It’s called “projectile vomiting” – a norovirus specialty. And you’re lucky you’ve never experienced it.

Yet.

Because, count on it – if your workplace has just been through an outbreak, that nasty norovirus is sure as eggs coming back. That projectile vomiting guarantees it.

The super-nasty gut bug

It’s just one of the ways this super-contagious health horror spreads itself. A gut-wrenching upchuck so violent it reaches across a whole room. So when some poor cleaner come to clear up the accident on the office carpet, all kinds of traces are left behind.

On the opposite wall, under the furthest desk, in the coils of computer cabling in the corner, or just floating in the air. It’s a virulent virus too – just 10 microscopic particles are enough to infect you. Contagious flu takes 25.

And at just 27 nanometres across, its particles are smaller than smoke – so light in the air they may never come down. But when they do, they’re able to survive on surfaces for weeks or more. All on things that never get cleaned – lift buttons, light switches, touchscreens and keypads.

Plus it’s not just the vomiting. The diarrhoea is violent too – equally able to spread in the air, to get itself everywhere despite meticulous scrubbing. Not to mention the end-of-the-world tummy cramps you have to live with. Unless you’re lucky.

So yes, you might have escaped the first outbreak. But unless your cleaning team have got into every nook and cranny – as well as scrubbing the air… You’re right in the line of fire when this boomerang baby comes bouncing back. And you’re gonna get it. Especially since outbreaks this year are up 45%.

Bad for business too

Unless of course, lucky for you, you have defensive measures. You’re ready with protection against this recurring vomiting bug that can cost thousands in sick pay, lost production, delayed contracts and missed opportunities.  And a bill to the NHS of a whopping £100 million a year.

Which means a Hypersteriliser and nothing less – the world’s best health protection system.

Press a button and the thing generates a dry superfine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide that reaches everywhere, dispersed by electrostatic charge. That same charge grabs at ALL viruses and bacteria like a magnet. Oxygen atoms rip through them, oxidising them to oblivion.

Germ-free and safe

40 minutes later, the place is sterile. All surfaces, walls, ceiling and floor – even the air is bare of any microbes. No viruses, no bacteria, norovirus ripped to pieces along with its brothers and sisters. Safe, secure and germ-free.

Will norovirus be back after that? Not unless one of your staff walks in after sick leave without washing their hands and hits the button on the photocopier.

But that’s not going to happen is it? Because lucky you has already put packs of antibacterial wipes on every desk. The only thing that’s coming back now is your productivity level.

Could have been nasty, but with all that one-touch button-pushing,  you never felt a thing.

Lucky you.

Picture Copyright: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo