- 49 percent of respondents understand they are contagious with the flu virus for one day before symptoms develop and up to five-to-seven days after becoming sick, an improvement from 38 percent last year.
- 76 percent of workers correctly identified the break room as the least clean spot in the office, a sharp increase from 26 percent last year.
- 57 percent know that flu viruses can live on a hard surface up to three days, a slight increase from last year; however, 66 percent of employees still only clean their desks once a week or less, up from 51 percent last year.
Facility Managers and Business Service Contractors First Line of DefenseOnly seven percent of facility managers (FMs) identified the break room as the germiest place in the office, demonstrating that even an organization’s FM doesn’t always have the correct information. Staples separately surveyed this group to determine challenges faced during flu season. Similar to last year, there is uncertainty over the role an FM plays in flu prevention in the workplace:
- 43 percent of FMs believe they’re responsible for the health of building occupants during flu season while 40 percent say it is up to the workers themselves.
- Not even 50 percent of FMs indicated that they ordered critical supplies to help prevent the spread of germs in the office, such as cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.
- Provide appropriate supplies: Employers can help their employees stay healthy throughout flu season by providing the necessary materials. The top three products respondents indicated they would like their employers to provide are hand sanitizer in common areas (47 percent), hand sanitizing wipes on every desk (42 percent) and touch free restroom features (39 percent).
- Offer/encourage a telecommuting program: Twenty-one percent of respondents said they come into work sick because they don’t think they could do their work from home. One way to help address employees coming into the office when sick would be to consider implementing a telecommuting program – or encourage the use of an existing program. Of the respondents whose company offers a telecommuting option, more than 50 percent felt inclined to telecommute to avoid sickness during flu season.
- Log off: While employees admit to coming to work when sick because they don’t want to fall behind on their work, survey results show that productivity drops to under 60 percent of norm when sick. In order to maintain a productive workplace, employers should encourage their employees to take the necessary time to recover when they contract the flu, to protect not only themselves but other workers.
About StaplesStaples is the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media. About Staples Advantage Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the Fortune 1000, including global businesses, local, state and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions. The Staples Advantage one source solution includes comprehensive products and services from office supplies, technology and printing to promotional products, furniture and facility supplies. Dedicated to providing organizations with greater cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies, Staples Advantage provides a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at www.staplesadvantage.com.