air quality, E-Co

Could Improving Air Quality Be The Simple Way To Prevent Worker Absenteeism?

Could improving air quality be the simple way to prevent worker absenteeism? The short answer is, ‘yes’, but because that won’t make much of a blog, E-Co are taking a more in-depth look into how implementing a system that intercepts and kills 99% of airborne bacterias, allergens and viruses (including COVID-19), could mean the end of frantically trying to cover staff-shortages, and increase workplace productivity overall.

Whether you’ve got 500 employees or 5, over 85% of your total workplace costs are going on salaries and benefits – and that probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Afterall, the success of your business is reliant on you having a reliable and productive team – and in terms of workforce; you get what you pay for. It’s frustrating then when several times a year, employee absenteeism becomes an issue; stress levels rise among those who are having to pick up the slack, cover has to be brought in (at extra cost), targets and deadlines are missed and, in the long run, profits could be affected. Unfortunately, unless you’re employing robots, employees having to occasionally take time off sick is just ‘one of those things’ – but what if you could reduce the amount of people needing to take time off, and increase productivity all in one fell swoop?

The majority of cases of workplace absenteeism are down to short-term illnesses such as flu, colds, and ear, nose and throat infections – and when you’ve got a lot of people all working in close proximity and sharing the same space, it’s not uncommon for employees to start dropping like flies once one person has become infected – something which has become an even bigger problem for employers now that we have COVID-19 to contend with.

In the UK, the average rate of absenteeism from work due to illness is 4.4 days per year, per employee, and when a member of staff is off sick, it’s not just them that you’re losing – the impact on your team’s performance as a whole can be huge. Research carried out by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that an employee covering for an absent coworker is up to 29.5% less productive than if they were just responsible for their regular workload. Absenteeism could also be costing you more than it needs to as well, with the same study showing that 47% of all overtime paid was due to covering employee absences. And you don’t need us to tell you how that’s going to affect your profit margins – if you’re spending more on overtime pay (or on hiring ‘temps’) to cover employee absences, your profit margins are likely to shrink as your direct costs go up.

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In an ideal world you want your business to run like a well-oiled machine, but worker absenteeism will always throw a spanner in the works, affecting your business as a whole – not just the individual and the team they’re a part of.

Stressful though it is as an employer to have one or more employees absent from work, genuine illness isn’t something you can do anything about.

Or is it?

We’re not claiming to be able to eradicate absenteeism full-stop (minor illness is the top reason for your employees calling in sick – but it’s not the only one!) – however, we can offer a fresh solution for reducing workplace absenteeism due to short-term illnesses, asthma and allergies.

Improving the air-quality of your workplace with E-Co’s Steril[2] -Aire products, HVAC Surface and Airstream.

Common sense tells us that the quality of the air we breathe can have a serious impact on our health, but just in case you want scientific proof specifically about air quality in an indoor workspace, study after study on air-quality in offices and buildings have been carried out over the years. These studies have shown that HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems support, amplify and transport[3]  mould and bacterias through buildings, triggering allergies, asthma and infections.

This is where Steril-Aire surface and air solutions come in – they deliver up to 6 times the output of other UVC devices, emitting a high output germicidal light source for HVAC systems. Our solutions are cost and energy effective, easy to install and available in different length and voltage options, and all improve indoor air quality by killing 99% of bacteria, mould and viruses, meaning….

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….Better employee productivity and lower employee absenteeism.

Now for the science bit:

E-Co’s Steril-Aire products use short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms. With their DNA disrupted, they are unable to perform vital cellular functions – in other words, they can’t make you and your employees sick any more. And it’s not just a one-off thing; these devices continuously clean the air and surfaces (without chemicals!), and stops them from re-growing.

Sounds impressive – and it is…but how prevalent is bad air quality in the workplace? Is it really anything that opening some windows and doing a deep clean of surfaces couldn’t take care of? Those employers who have tried everything to reduce worker absenteeism, would say that it is. Aside from triggering existing conditions such as asthma and allergies, and spreading coughs and colds, poor air quality in offices with a HVAC system has been linked to Sick Building Syndrome. If it’s not a syndrome you’re particularly familiar with, you and your employees are sure to have experienced some if not all of the symptoms at some point – and it could be more of a contributing factor to worker absenteeism than you realise.

The term was coined in the 1970s to describe unexplained symptoms experienced by people spending time in a specific building  – typically an office space. Indoor air quality was the prime suspect, with reported symptoms including headaches, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, dizziness, nausea and problems with concentration. More seriously, some office workers were soon reporting respiratory conditions, and so BRI (building-related illness) was born. These controversial conditions aren’t considered real by the whole medical community, with some believing that the symptoms can instead be attributed to illnesses contracted OUTSIDE of the building. But, the overwhelming majority of those who are experiencing these symptoms firmly believe that the viruses and bacteria carried through the HVAC systems in their offices could be to blame.

Whether Sick Building Syndrome is, as a collective medical condition, imagined or not, as an employer, you’re not imagining employees not turning up to work, or the bout of flu that’s working its way through each department. You’re not imagining the entire marketing department coming down with COVID-19, or the three phone calls you’ve had to make this month to the temp agency…you’re not imagining the missed deadlines…or the loss in profits…or the stress.

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And you’re not imagining that E-CO and Steril-Aire have the first-step solution to massively reduce employee absenteeism – with decreasing your operating costs and energy consumption, your water and maintenance costs, and reducing your business carbon footprint all being added bonuses. As a successful business person, you don’t think twice about protecting your PC network from the spread of viruses – it makes sense to protect the expensive equipment you have invested in, so to not do so would be out of the question! so, why not invest in virus protection for your company’s most valuable resource: your employees.

90% business costs at the emplyees salaries

Just leave the Steril-Aire name from the blog

Viruses such as COVID 19, influenza (which is another type of Coronavirus