While we all wish the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” worked in all circumstances, when it comes to cold weather months, but it doesn’t. Many managers and business owners deal with sick or late employees along with business closures during the winter months. While some of the problems associated with the cold weather don’t cause much upheaval, these are two challenges that reduce productivity and advancement.
Even when businesses offer “sick days” to their employees, many employees still insist on coming into the office when they are sick. This is a quick way to spread the sickness throughout the office as co-workers, while potentially happy they don’t have to do the extra work, may worry about their own health. One employee out sick can be managed, but when an entire office gets sick, productivity is reduced and office managers find themselves short-staffed.
A great way to manage sickness in the office, is to encourage employees to take a sick day or, if possible, work from home during an illness. A manager can even send a sick employee home or tell them they cannot come into work, even if a person wants to come in. We recommend checking with your human resources department to ensure you correctly and fairly encourage employees to stay home and/or telecommute to avoid problems with local, federal and state employment laws.
Be careful when closing an office due to the holiday season or bad weather. We recommend consulting with your human resources department regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to ensure you properly pay your employees. Remember, non-exempt employees are paid for the actual time they work whereas exempt employees have different regulations. If you know you will close early for holidays or snow days, be sure that all your employees are correctly informed as to their pay during these times.