We’re kidding, right?
No way the numbers add up.
So what if 131 million working days are lost to sick leave every year? That’s not going to break the bank – 4.4 days per employee, one week out of 52, not even 2%.
Yeah – except none of those employees works in isolation. There’s colleagues like you, sitting at a desk less than 10 feet away – well inside cough, splutter range.
Oops, it’s catching
Which means whatever they get, you get too. Sod’s law.
Sure, sure, but all part of the same statistic. Only 4.4, right?
Because being sick for real – not just pulling a sickie – is more than one or two days off, isn’t it?
There’s the four-five days incubation, before you come down with it. Not feeling yourself, dragging yourself into work, head all over the place, sweats and chills at the same time, tummy roiling with World War Three.
Impossible to work like that. Not you at your best, hey? What would you say, 50% under par? More? Less than half a person, going through the motions – and all the time you’re doing that, how many others are there inside YOUR 10 foot cough, splutter range?
You shouldn’t be there, right? You owe it to your colleagues – and your bosses. You’re a walking germ-alodium and you ought to stay away.
So what do you prove, walking round, infecting everyone? That you’re a hero? Get real.
And the rest
Plus of course, there’s the other four-five days when you get back. Still feeling like death warmed up, still way under par. Not convalescing, you do that at home. More like guilt-tripping because you know they’re running under-staffed. Or maybe you’re worried about job security.
Which makes the numbers more under-claim rosy than they should be, doesn’t it? A bigger cost, even lower productivity. Instead of 4.4 days a year, you’re performing like less than half of yourself for another ten – altogether three weeks of your expertise whipped away, gone.
And that’s not counting mistakes you might make because you’re not 100% on the ball. Or things you miss while you’re battling to concentrate. They have a price tag too. Lost income certainly, maybe a lost contract too. Or forfeits of some kind because your work doesn’t come up to scratch.
The real downside
OK, so if straight statistics mean the country is losing £29 billion a year from sick days – reality is at least five to ten times more than that, around £150 billion.
To put that in perspective, say you’re a mid-level minnow at £2,500 a month and your valued expertise generates 10 times more than that. Your worth to the company is £27,500 a month. Take out the three weeks of under-performing and that’s just under £18,500. Down the tubes, gone. Because you weren’t functioning on all four.
But hold it. Those ONS statistics mean every worker in the country loses 4.4 days a year – every single one.
So if there’s ten more of you in the office, that’s £185,000 a year, assuming you’re all at the same level. Add the boss in there – and say, a couple of the more high-powered sales stars – and that easily tops half a mill.
Half a million quid, every year – just for parking off, sick!
How many companies can afford that? And what if where you work has more than ten people?
Light in the tunnel
Which makes it kind of crazy that it’s all unnecessary, doesn’t it?
Because for less than the cost of just one of you, that all-involving career outfit you’re working for could have not one but TWO Hypersteriliser machines misting up the place every night and reducing the presence of all viruses and bacteria to zero. No germs, boom – in around forty minutes per room.
And what would that do? Chop the chance of any of you catching an infection at work by at least half, maybe more.
No, it won’t wave a magic wand if you’re sick already – or stop you coming down with something if it’s already inside you.
But it will stop new stuff – all of it.
And if you all give up bad habits like eating at your desk – about the worst place to catch germs in the universe from the guck that accumulates and is never cleaned away – there’s even less chance of getting sick, ever.
Especially if you all wash your hands on top of it – and keep sanitising gel handy.
Uh huh. A total U-turn in office hygiene.
Because now instead of losing money, the place starts making it. Not exactly germ-free, but almost.
When success strikes
Feeling well means that everyone is functioning at 100 per. Stuff gets done, efficiency rises. You all start looking like winners. Which of course, you are.
Snowball time. Everything just keeps getting better.
Your offices feel like a good place to be, so morale takes a hike. Onwards and upwards becomes a reality. Going the extra mile is done with a smile. The competitive edge. You’re better than anyone else and you know it.
All of you.
And what does that do to the balance sheet?
See the boss’s smile. See him give you a whole extra three weeks off.
Wait a minute, wasn’t that how long you were out of it – dragging yourself around, sick as a dog?
See the boss smile again. Feel yourself do it too.
The place can afford it now – a clean bill of health. These are germ-free offices and it shows.