People have computers, right? They can do their jobs better, faster – worth the investment.
BETTER, FASTER – hold that thought.
Investment in health
So where’s the investment in health and wellbeing to make them better and faster in personal performance too?
Enter, your company’s first Hypersteriliser – half the cost of the small car assigned to each sales rep. And way more significant to productivity.
Whatever germs are in the office – any viruses or bacteria lingering at the end of the day – they’re all gone in forty minutes per room. Every single treated area is totally sterile before staffers come in next morning.
OK, but that won’t clobber whatever new germs people might bring in with them from the great outside. We all carry germ-clouds around with us, wherever we go – most good, but some bad. Kinda why we have a germ problem in the first place.
But with a germ threshold starting at zero, any transferable infections should come down more than 50%, hospital tests already prove it.
50% of £27 million for coughs and sneezes is no small change. And that’s just a start
Work hygiene – phase two
Bung a tube of sanitising hand wipes on every desk – and a major cause of Workplace Acquired Infections (WAIs) is also nipped in the bud.
Discourage drinking and eating at workstations – a proper break in a relaxed area is more inspirational anyway – and the daytime germ count drops even more. Not the zero threshold the day started with, but close.
Ah, and there’s the knock-on effect.
When people feel well, they perform better – more motivated, more resilient, more ready to achieve things. Qualities all companies know are priceless.
It ripples out from there. Greater worth in engagement with customers and suppliers. Bigger reputation and standing.
Sky’s the limit
Better still, health issues are on hold up the line as well – cough, sniffle, tummyache whatever – the company heavyweights start feeling good too. Everyone’s on full song. Like, no more projects in jeopardy because the boss is sick. He’s on the plane to China with the new prototype designs six weeks early.
Feel-good inspires. Feel-good motivates. Feel-good sells. Feel-good brings big bucks.
Kinda worth it, having a go at all those germs, don’t you think?
And for a genuine cause, or is that a load of porkies too?
Because, you may not know this, but you’ve already written off the cost. It’s already paid, so it’s not like you’re out of pocket.
Your people investment
Kinda nice to have the background, though. To know that your investment is properly justified.
Huh? Already paid? Investment?
Sure. Written off, right? You’ve paid, or you’re about to.
It comes out of salaries, like every sickie does – real, as well as fake.
And you’re paying for a lot more besides.
Like all the times staff would like to pull a sickie, but don’t dare:
They’re sick alright, but they’ve pulled one sickie too many, and now their job’s at risk.
They’re too embarrassed or scared to ask about something, so come to work anyway.
They’re hiding a real problem, and they don’t want anyone to know.
They’re genuinely sick, but don’t reckon it’s bad enough to stay away.
They’re genuinely sick, and don’t want to burden colleagues with extra work.
They’re genuinely sick, but dread the reality of being home alone.
They’re genuinely sick, but want to stop their rivals getting ahead of them.
Each one a non-sickie, yes? Because they’re at work.
The price of sickies-on-the-job
So the reality is, you’re now lumbered with sickies-on-the-job – and you’re paying for those too.
Because they’re at their desks, all present and correct – but not in proper shape to handle their work effectively. Feeling grim as all hell and going through the motions.
Under-powered and not really concentrating, what sort of work quality are they capable of delivering? And if their mind’s not fully on the job, how many errors are they making, or simply not recognising? At what cost?
Better the job’s not done at all if it’s botched. Plus you pay for it twice to get it right – and it takes twice as long. Where’s the economy in that?
Presenteeism, it’s called. About as much use to you as if they’d stayed home anyway.
And get this. On average, everyone on the payroll goes through it 57.5 days a year – including you. Ten times the number of days most people book off sick – almost three working months.
Never mind if every instance is kosher or not – the fact is, at the moment when it happens staff are not up to the job, even though they’re present. Unproductive and costing you money.
And it’s not always your veteran skiver with a massive hangover every Monday either. It’s just as likely to be your hot graduate newcomer, falling apart inside because her boyfriend dumped her. Or your IT whizz-kid in a blue funk about his gambling debts. Or your rock-steady accounts lady, trying to hide running to the loo every five minutes with some tummy bug.
Often illnesses, always issues. Some of them so big, they take over the whole person. Because we’re human and not always perfect – needing constant attention to keep ourselves functioning. Just look for the signs – fatigue, unusual temper, sudden changes in emotion, behaviour and appearance.
We’re not always on top form either. Like for instance, each of us has something that ails us about every three days. Headaches, back pain, stomach cramps, coughing like crazy. Or every cold and flu bug that goes around, a paper cut that goes septic, period pains, and the inevitable virus.
All of which prevents staff from doing their job properly. And all of which you pay for. The glitches and mistakes – and the salaries of course.
Twelve months’ salaries, nine months’ work
TWELVE MONTH salaries. Out of which your expectation is to get twelve months’ productivity.
Except presenteeism robs you of it – subtracts three working months’ worth for everybody on the payroll.
So whatever salaries you’re paying are effectively only nine months’ worth.
Which is why you can afford to indulge staff who pull a sickie. You’ve got 57.5 days you can afford to give away anyway – before making losses on REAL staff costs. 57.5 days with which to soothe their anguish, ease their worries – and establish your reputation as the most caring boss in the country.
Because count on it, most reasons for pulling a sickie are for genuine issues – staff just assume they’ll never be accepted. Aside from the lazy ones who can’t get motivated after holidays and weekends – and without strong commitment or enthusiasm for the job, who needs them anyway? One or two duvet days is OK – but after that, take a hike.
Anyway, granting time off because you can puts you in a different league. You’re a boss who understands and has staff interests at heart. Never mind going the extra mile, you’ll have them eating out of your hand.
Look at it from their point of view. So how DO you explain that Argos say they’ll deliver some time between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm – which means hanging around like a spare part or the goods get stolen? And how easily it’s fixed by taking the laptop and working from home.
How much better do you feel that you can attend Aunt Bessie’s funeral and carry the flag for your side of the family so the in-laws don’t get sniffy?
Or better still, that you can go for the knee op – and take proper time to convalesce – not hobble round like a peg-leg pirate for the rest of your life?
Time for your staff is the most valuable motivator you can have. And every business has the opportunity to deploy it – a whole new dimension to your duty of care.
Inspired, motivated, committed
Suddenly working for you becomes sought after and special – a valuable recruitment plus and retention advantage. The trick now as Mr Nice Guy is to coax back as many of those 57.5 days as you can to bump up productivity.
Flexible working is a great start – particularly as some staff may have a commute of two hours or more – and this week there are further delays on East Anglia / Virgin / South East / Thameslink. Besides, coping with sick kids gets easier when operating hours aren’t rigid and people can log in remotely at two in the morning.
Just make sure every issue is properly discussed and reviewed afterwards. If you’re giving time away it has to have value, be appreciated as a privilege, given proper respect.
And you can claw back more time by racking up workplace wellness.
No, no, not the feelgood bribes of gym membership, fitness clinics, stop smoking groups and diet classes. Yes, they work, but they don’t win back time.
We mean REAL workplace wellness – actually making the place safer and healthier from any illnesses caught from the office environment or from colleagues.
It’s dead easy too – and not expensive. Add sterilising the office to your regular evening cleaning sessions and there are no illnesses to catch.
Once again you’ve proved to staff you have their interests at heart, making the place pleasant to work in and safe from germs.
Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed.It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.
How come we work more and produce less – compared with the Germans, who work less (35 hours a week average) and produce more?
It’s not like we’re stupid or lazy. Our brightest minds are world leaders, and lazy people could never stomach the hours most of us put in.
So however much we splurge on the latest bells and whistles, we might at best still find ourselves level pegging with the other G7. While the Germans motor past us, laughing all the way to the bank.
Millions and millions and millions.
Breaking the shackles
But driving things forward has never been our problem – it’s breaking the shackles that hold us back.
OK, a lot of businesses are starting to recognise this – and revising the ways they value their human capital. They’re not machines, they need looking after. Inspiration, engagement and involvement are the new watchwords – and wellbeing is the new game.
Lots of positive thinking – which is why nobody ever addresses the negative. It’s treating symptoms, not cause. Exploring remedies before isolating what ails us.
What ails us – meet the elephant in the room.
What makes us sick is seldom on anybody’s radar – including the sufferer’s. We get sick, we get sick – it happens, and most of us just accept it.
Accept and keep schtum.
Because sick is what most of us are, a lot of the time at work.
The stiff upper lip
But we don’t let on, in case it gets us fired. Replaced by somebody younger and hungrier. Or in case our colleagues feel let down. Forced into double tasking without a by your leave. Or because we’re too damned responsible for our own good and can’t relinquish the work load.
It’s the curse of presenteeism – and we’re all party to it. The British stiff upper lip.
Being unwell at work, but carrying on anyway. Slogging onwards with head pounding and guts heaving, hoping nobody will notice. Desk-pounding when we should be home in bed with antibiotics and a hot water bottle, keeping our germs away from colleagues.
57.5 days a year, we’re like that – almost three working months. Stressed out like crazy because we know we’re not performing. And shockingly ignorant that a lot of the time, we’re ill from sloppy hygiene at work.
And sloppy is being kind, most of the time it’s disgusting. Because we can’t see germs, we don’t even think of the danger, let alone trying to avoid it.
But germs can, and do, kill. Or do us permanent damage. Even the smallest infection can trigger life-threatening consequences, ten or twenty years down the line.
For hygiene, read logiene
Meanwhile, our workplace preventive measures are almost non-existent.
Which is why, for nearly three months of the year, the work we’re capable of is sometimes barely competent. Everything has to be done twice, and is invariably late when it gets there. Nobody can concentrate when they’re not themselves – though we like to kid ourselves that we can.
Millions in germonomics
But look at the economics of that – or should we say, the germonomics.
Three months of the year, the team are basically out of action – at their desks yes, but really just going through the motions. Effectively that means they only work nine months of the year, not twelve. Nowhere near as productive as we’d like to think.
Now suppose with just a little investment in health protection, you could remove germs from the workplace entirely. Make the place sterile – no viruses, no bacteria, no fungi, no nothing. Yes, it can be done – and yes, the technology exists now.
Get rid of the germs and 57.5 days a year of being unwell at work melt into the distant past. Out of the blue, three extra working months become available, alongside the nine months worth of work currently – productivity up a third.
The self-funding future
Better still, it’s already paid for.
Salaries stay the same, at a full twelve months worth. Only now the business is getting its full money’s worth – three months up on the minimal nine months possible previously. The end of a three months handicap – no wonder productivity was down!
Which means unlike investing millions in a digital future, the business saves millions from the existing present. Millions, which if then invested in technology, are like setting the afterburners to warp speed.
Them Germans had better watch out – laughing all the way to the bank indeed.
Hans, was ist los?
About this blog
Back Off, Bacteria!is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi. Achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed.The only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.