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What Do Frequently Recurring Sick Days Mean For Retail?

Sick days are more than just an inconvenience for the retail industry; they come with a hefty price tag. On average, employees take 4.1 sick days due to illness, with the public sector losing 3.3% of working hours to ill health. In the long term, sick days can not only affect your sales profits but also your overall revenue as a retail business, as you are still paying for your employees even though they are absent. The bottom line: These sick day absences not only disrupt operations but also incur significant costs.

But what if some sick days were avoidable? It’s imperative for the retail sector to address and minimise these health concerns to ensure the well-being of your workforce and the smooth functioning of businesses.

Stress-related sick days

One of the most commonly overlooked health worries in the retail industry is stress-related sick days. High-pressure environments, demanding schedules, and customer interactions can all contribute to elevated stress levels among employees. To mitigate this, employers can introduce stress-reducing initiatives such as wellness programs, flexible scheduling, and providing access to stress-relief supplements like magnesium and vitamin B complex. Creating a supportive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated can also significantly reduce stress levels and absenteeism.

Cough and shortness of breath complaints

Another often neglected health concern in retail settings is the presence of invisible gases, particularly radon. What is Radon? It is a radioactive gas that can seep into buildings through cracks in the foundation, posing serious health risks to occupants.

Long-term exposure to radon has been linked to lung cancer, making it crucial for retail establishments to regularly test for its presence. Implementing proper ventilation systems and sealing any entry points can help mitigate radon levels and ensure a safe working environment for employees.

Frequent flu and cold-like sickness

Poorly maintained air-conditioning systems can also contribute to frequent illnesses among retail employees. Dirty filters are a common culprit, allowing bacteria and contaminants to circulate within the air, leading to respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and flu. Regular maintenance of air conditioning units, including cleaning or replacing filters, is essential to prevent the spread of airborne illnesses in the workplace. Additionally, promoting good hygiene practices among staff, such as frequent hand washing and disinfecting shared surfaces, can further reduce the risk of infection.

Frequent stomach bugs and digestive issues

Employees experiencing frequent stomach bugs and digestive issues may unknowingly be exposed to unsafe food options. Whether it’s from on-site cafeterias or nearby eateries, consuming contaminated food can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and illness.

Employers need to prioritise food safety. Yet, you can’t ensure that independent food vendors adhere to proper hygiene standards. Nevertheless, in case of doubt, it is worth discussing the issue with the relevant authorities. If you can’t offer healthier food options on-site, at least you can educate your employees about safe eating practices can also help minimise the risk of foodborne illnesses.

In conclusion, addressing commonly overlooked health concerns in the retail industry is vital for promoting employee well-being and productivity. By implementing preventive measures and creating a safe and supportive work environment, retailers can reduce absenteeism, enhance employee morale, and ultimately improve business outcomes. Taking proactive steps to address these health worries not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to the overall success of the retail sector.