Just as flu season has come and gone, allergy season has arrived. The American Academy of Asthma and Immunology says 10-30% of the American population suffers from allergies or inflammation in the nasal passage. From sneezing, to wheezing, to runny eyes- those suffering with allergies can have a challenging time making it through the workday.
Allergies are the second biggest reason for adults missing work according to James Sublett, MD, a board-certified asthma and allergist specialist in Kentucky. The average worker suffering from seasonal allergies loses about one hour per week over the course of a year, but that time can be concentrated during peak allergy seasons.
To help reduce absenteeism and prevent decreased workforce production, consider preparing your office space for spring allergens. By implementing these preventive measures, your allergy sensitive employees will be able to work with fewer distractions.
Here are 4 ways to help address spring allergies in the office:
1. Control Dust Mites- Dust mites are one of the most common allergens in the home- which can then be carried to the workplace via clothing. Conduct seasonal deep office cleans, especially on fabrics to reduce the presence of dust mites.
2. Deep Office Clean- Large offices will have air filtration systems, but smaller offices are less likely to have. Before spring pollen sets in, look into changing and cleaning air filtration systems in your office to ensure the air in the office is clean. A portable HEPA filter is another option to help with air quality. Don’t overlook a “deep dusting and clean” of employee desks – computers, monitors and removal of desk clutter. These can all be prone to collecting allergy inducing particles. Encourage an office wide spring cleaning in preparation for the season.
3. Employee Communications- Just as you send out reminders about cold and flu season, send employees resources on how to best minimize allergies in the office to prevent those who are sensitive from having an allergy attack.
4. Keep Supplies on Hand- An allergy attack isn’t always preventable, so it’s important to keep supplies on hand. From tissues, to desk cleaning supplies, to over-the-counter allergy medications, having resources for employees suffering allergies will help contain a potential allergic reaction. Extra tissues are always appreciated.
While you might not always be able to prevent an allergy attack, these strategies are a great way to “get ahead of the sneeze”!