If you’re like most employers, you probably think a little cold shouldn’t keep your employees from coming to work. However, when employees come to work sick, it can actually have a negative impact on productivity—and not just their own. Due to close proximity with coworkers, employees can easily spread germs and decrease office productivity for everyone. To keep this from happening, some experts say that allowing employees to stay home when they’re sick is one of the smartest small business tips you can adopt.
It shouldn’t be that difficult for sick employees to keep germs to themselves, right? Unfortunately, this is far from true in a small office environment. Even if sick employees have their own office spaces, they still share common spaces with other employees. Germs can live for a surprisingly long time on a variety of surfaces, including printers, fax machines and door handles. And, of course, they can travel long distances when they are pushed outward by the force of a sneeze or cough.
If you are wondering how to improve office productivity, start by giving sick employees the freedom to stay home until they are no longer contagious. This is especially important during flu season, when germs are more prone to spread rapidly from person to person.