Bay Area small business owners interested in improving their profit margins should give their workers more time off. While it may sound counterintuitive, a company can really benefit from having their employees spend less time in the office. Paid sick leave and vacation time is critical to maintaining a focused, dedicated, productive, and healthy workforce.
Sick Employees Could Infect Their Co-Workers
According to a recent survey, 69 percent of American workers do not take off work when they get sick. Their dedication is admirable, but when employees who have come down with a cold or flu come to work, they run the risk of infecting everyone in the office or other workspace. If that happens at a small business, the entire company’s productivity could take a major hit. Owners should not only offer their workers sick leave, but also encourage them to use it whenever necessary or even suspected.
Lower Risk Factors for Serious Illnesses
The increased digitization of the workplace has brought a slew of benefits to American industry, but it has also created new problems. For instance, the average American worker now spends most of their 9 to 5 sitting. Unfortunately, that length of uninterrupted sitting can increase an individual’s risk factors for numerous serious illnesses and conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Employers can help protect their employers from these sort of risk factors by encouraging onsite fitness activities, brisk walks, or even providing stand-up desks and alternate seating arrangements.
Overworking Can Lead to Symptoms of Depression
Having regular time off doesn’t just help optimize your workers’ physical health, it can also have a positive impact on their mental and emotional wellness. When employees don’t receive ample time off work, our fight-or-flight instincts kick in and our brains dump loads of stress hormones in our bloodstream. Existing in this heightened state for an extended period of time can lead to a number of serious health problems, including depression. In fact, overworking has resulted in over 10% of all U.S. employees needing treatment for depression.
Difficulty Sleeping Is a Common Symptom
A recent New York Times article listed “being overworked on the job” as a leading contributing factor to regular sleeplessness. The occasional sleepless night is fairly common and relatively harmless, but chronic insomnia can be seriously debilitating. Left untreated, insomnia can increase your risk of contracting serious chronic illnesses and episodes, such as stroke and hypertension.
Employee Time Off Decreases Workplace Accidents
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 4 million non-fatal workplace accidents in America every year. One of the most common causes of these accidents is mental distraction. And as anyone who’s ever had a cold, been afflicted with a chronic illness, felt depressed, or been sleep deprived knows, all of those conditions can have negative effects on your ability to concentrate.
To that end, Bay Area small business owners who want to avoid painful and costly employee injuries should give their workers sick leave and paid time off.
Canopy Health is a community of caregivers creating an integrated healthcare experience where quality care and coverage are provided by an alliance of top caregivers throughout the Bay Area. They offer refreshingly clear, human care that is achieved by making each unique member’s journey predictable, transparent, and cost-effective.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse San Francisco.