Ask any human resources manager, and employee absences rise in the spring, trumped only by flu outbreaks as the reason employees call out sick. If your tired of sniffles and sneezes impacting your team’s productivity, it may be time to take steps to help your allergy suffering employees breathe a little easier at work. The list below provides some great starting points that should ultimately result in happier, healthier employees and less sick days used during the spring season.
- Encourage employees to have allergy testing done. Consider allowing an absence for allergy testing. The results may show that employee allergies are unrelated to the work environment, or may help you pinpoint troubles in the building such as dust mites or pollen.
- Reduce the use of environmental hazards. Air fresheners and cleaning supplies with a heavy scent may make the building seem fresh and clean, but there is a good chance that environmental cleaners that produce an odor are a culprit behind respiratory and sinus troubles that employees suffer.
- Protect employees from seasonal allergens like pollen. Opening and closing windows and doors allows for outdoor allergens, especially pollen, to enter the work environment. If your employees are sniffling and sneezing, chances are your air filtration system isn’t up to par. Talk with your HVAC company about how to best keep allergens out of the air.
- Separate pet owners from non-pet owners. A fair amount of pet dander makes its way into the workplace on the clothing of employees that own cats, dogs or birds. If you have employees with pet related allergies, give them space to work away from employees that could be bringing allergens into the office from home. Providing lint rollers at the front door can help some, but is not as effective as moving desks or offices around to minimize contact.
- Control dust mites. Dust mites are a very common allergen, and one that is often carried into the workplace passively from employee homes. To reduce dust mites, have office carpets steam cleaned regularly, use microfiber cloth or damp rags to wipe down surfaces and considering offering small HEPA cleaners for offices and cubicles of employees with allergies.
Atlanta ENT offers a wide array of allergy testing and treatment options. Call today for an allergy consultation.
Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT