As blooming flowers accompany the start of summer, they also present a serious problem for your workplace, as the spread of pollen signals hay fever season. Hay fever, characterised by itchy eyes, runny nose and frequent sneezing, causes nearly 4 in 10 workers to have trouble doing their job, according to research by Well Pharmacy. The same research found that 1 in 5 of those suffering from hay fever have taken time off work for their allergy. Furthermore, a third of those who took time off admitted to not telling their employer the real reason for their absence, fearing that their boss wouldn’t find hay fever to be a proper excuse.
However, research shows that hay fever does have the potential to be debilitating in the workplace. About 40 per cent of those with hay fever found it harder to concentrate on work tasks, and 20 per cent of those with the allergy reported being more irritable with their colleagues when suffering. Hay fever season stretches all summer, costing employers £7.1 billion in lost productivity, according to Allergy UK. Follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of hay fever at your workplace:
- Remove plants and flowers from the workplace—Although aesthetically pleasing, this form of décor isn’t worth the spread of pollen indoors.
- Offer coat and jacket storage—Clothes can pick up pollen and carry them indoors. Keep coats and jackets in a storage area to prevent pollen from spreading throughout employees’ workspaces.
- Improve the flooring—Pollen can often fester in carpet flooring. Vacuum carpets on a regular basis and consider switching to hardwood floors, if possible.
Contains public sector information published by the HSE and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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