Work and Wellbeing 9 May 2018

7 different ways for employers to ensure a pollen-free workplace this summer

pollen-free workplace
As many as one in three UK adults suffer from hay fever
Whilst we all long for those beautiful long summer days and the smell of freshly cut grass; hay fever sufferers dread the high pollen counts, and the itchy, sneezy, wheezy symptoms that are associated with it.

To help employers create a pollen-free workplace that protects staff from hay fever throughout the summer, Dr Daniel Fenton, medical director of London Doctors Clinic, offers up seven actionable strategies.

The Impact

A 2013 study showed that anywhere between ten to 30 per cent of adults suffer with hay fever.

The Met Office discovered that hay fever costs UK employers 29m days? worth of lost work per year, with employees who suffer from severe hay fever needing an average of 8.4 days away from their desk.

So, hay fever should not be ignored by employers.

Many people believe that hay fever simply manifests as itchy eyes and sneezing that can be managed with a cocktail of antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays. Whilst this may be true in some cases, we know that as many as 57 per cent of adults will have sleep disturbance as a result of their hay fever.

Poor sleep results in daytime fatigue and problems with alertness and concentration. Many hay fever sufferers describe this as brain fog. There is therefore no surprise that productivity is significantly reduced in perennial hay fever sufferers.

Remember that pollen has three waves: This means staff can be affected by hay fever from January, right through to the end of summer.

So, these are my top tips for creating a pollen-free workplace throughout hay fever season:

  1. Keep the windows closed

Good quality air condition is much better than having the windows open during the summer period. Open windows allow the minuscule pollen particles to find their way in and settle around the office.

  1. Good flooring

Whilst plush carpets may look fantastic in certain areas, they harbour both dust and pollen, which create a nightmare environment for hay fever and dust allergy sufferers alike. Sweepable and moppable floors are much better for pollen free working conditions.

If there are carpets, ensuring they are thoroughly vacuumed on a daily basis by the cleaning staff is essential.

  1. Removal of plants and flowers

Whilst they can make an office look nicer, these should be removed from working areas, as people seemingly forget that flowers create pollen.

  1. Soft furnishings


 
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