Seasonal allergies are a fact of life for many people, but did you know that they can also significantly impact your workplace? Allergies can not only make it difficult for your employees to focus and be productive, but they can also lead to absenteeism and lost productivity. Here are five ways that allergies can affect your workplace and what you can do to combat them.
Absenteeism and Presenteeism
Employees who are dealing with severe allergies may not feel up to coming to work. Seasonal allergies are one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the United States. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, employees with allergies miss an average of four work days yearly due to their condition. A single absent employee can cost a company around $2,600 to $3,600 annually.
There are various reasons why absenteeism rates are so high among allergy sufferers. First, many people with allergies have difficulty sleeping due to their symptoms. This can lead to fatigue and a general feeling of unwellness, which makes it hard to get out of bed and go to work. Additionally, some people may fear having a severe allergic reaction at work and feel it is safer to stay home.
In addition to absenteeism, allergies can also lead to presenteeism. This is when employees come to work but cannot be productive due to their symptoms. For example, someone dealing with a runny nose, watery eyes, and fatigue will likely not be able to focus on their work tasks. A survey conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that 69% of employees with allergies felt that their condition impacted their job performance.
Did you know that allergies are contagious? It’s true! So if one employee is dealing with hay fever or another type of seasonal allergy, there’s a good chance that others in the office will also start to experience symptoms. This can lead to even more absenteeism and lost productivity.
Hazardous Work environment
In some cases, severe allergies can create a hazardous work environment for those affected. For example, if you have an employee with a peanut allergy, having peanuts in the office could trigger a potentially life-threatening reaction. Likewise, if you have an employee with asthma, exposure to specific airborne allergens could trigger an asthma attack. Therefore, if you have employees with severe allergies, it’s essential to take steps to create a safe and comfortable work environment for them.
Finally, it’s important to remember that allergies can be costly in terms of lost productivity, missed work days, and treatment costs. Employees who suffer from allergies often incur high costs for prescription medications, doctor’s visits, and other treatments. Some employers offer health insurance plans that cover these costs, while others provide allowances or stipends that employees can use to offset their out-of-pocket expenses.
Allergies may seem like a minor nuisance, but they can significantly impact your workplace and your bottom line. If seasonal allergies are affecting your business, you can take steps to mitigate their impact and keep your workplace running smoothly all season long! Here are some of those steps.
Use Air Conditioner
Seasonal allergies are generally the result of pollen, which is produced by plants such as trees, grasses, and weeds. To reduce the amount of pollen in your office, keep your windows closed and use portable air conditioning. There are various benefits to using portable air conditioners for your office. It can improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of pollen and other allergens in the air. Also, portable air conditioners can help keep employees comfortable and productive during the hot summer months. Finally, portable air conditioners are a cost-effective way to cool your office and easier to move from place to place. You can even install it without professional help!
Use Air Purifiers
Another way to reduce the amount of pollen and other allergens in your office is to use air purifiers. Air purifiers work by trapping allergens in a filter or releasing negative ions that attach to particles in the air, causing them to fall to the ground. Air purifiers can be placed in individual offices or common areas and are relatively inexpensive to operate.
Limit Outdoor Time
If possible, limit the time employees spend outdoors during peak allergy season. For example, if your office is near a park or nature reserve, consider asking employees to take their breaks indoors during spring and summer. You can also encourage employees who enjoy exercising outdoors to do so before or after work instead of during their lunch break.
Allergies and asthma can make working life very difficult for those affected. But by taking some simple steps, you can create a work environment that is safe and comfortable for everyone.