The Flu Balancing Act - Keeping Staff Productive

 My previous post about "Business Plan to Prepare for the Flu" has generated a local look at flu preparations from the Daily Record.  In "Employers craft 'stay-home' policies - Workplace can be 'point of spread' for virus"  reporter Jake Remaly looks at what Morris County businesses are doing to address the flu this season - how to take reasonable steps to balance staff being ill or staff needing to care for a sick family members with maintaining productivity and efficiencies.  

The first point mentioned is to communicate a uniform policy.  It is no good to have a sick policy that nobody is aware of - Bayer's 15,500 U.S. employees were recently advised via email  "the two best ways to protect yourself and others from influenza are to practice good hygiene, and stay home if you are ill."  Whatever policy you have, it needs to apply across the board to all staff - employment attorney Jonathan Nirenberg points out the potential legal issues of sending some staff home if sick but not others.

My contribution to the article was to address the question of "My employee is home and work isn't getting done - what now?".  One solution is to look to your technology - do you have a means of having staff work from another location?  While this might not be a long term policy you wish to implement, for staff whose job responsibilities are computer based, the ability to access their desktops from home might be the perfect solution to bridge the gap between addressing illness and maintaining productivity.  

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