How much does a sick day really cost?

young girl is sick in the room

Updated on February 25, 2023

Employees are an investment. Businesses rely on them to keep workplaces functioning, and customers depend on employees to connect them to goods and services.

During cold and flu season – and especially since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – employees and businesses are struggling to remain business as usual as illnesses slow down productivity and revenue growth. 

How do businesses stay operational in the face of frequent illness and regular absenteeism? 

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to keep yourself and your employees healthy – and reduce the number of sick days taken. 

By the end of this article, you will have learned:

  1. How much illnesses cost businesses
  2. The financial impact of cold and flu season
  3. How to keep absences low and productivity high

Let’s get started.  

How much does illness cost a business? 

The cost of absenteeism takes a toll on companies

Not only are businesses forced to hire extra staff, decrease operation hours, and increase the prices of food or services provided – which also has an impact on business – but there is also a cost per employee for each sick day taken.

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According to a study conducted by the CDC, the cost to businesses per year for absenteeism or injury is $225.8 billion – that’s about $1,685 per employee!

Even large corporations feel the financial toll absenteeism can take on revenue – but small and medium-sized businesses can struggle to stay afloat – especially during cold and flu season. 

Take a look at the sick day trends of 2020-2021 to see the difference between the pandemic years, and the years previous. 

The financial impact of cold and flu season

Prior to the pandemic, many workplaces believed that having sick employees in the office continuing to do their job was financially better than allowing sick days.

According to the Harvard Business Review, working while sick is as detrimental to revenue growth as asking employees to stay home and stop working while they’re sick, because employees are not productive when they’re feeling unwell. 

These days, there’s added confusion.

Sick days while working from home 

With so many employees able to work partially or completely from home, employers might believe that it’s better to have employees working rather than completely going offline to recover.

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The company costs of paying for unproductive workdays outweigh the costs of having employees take time away from work to recover to return to the job fully-functioning. 

In fact, the cost of poor-productivity days due to working while ill were higher than medical costs for general injuries or specific sick-leaves. 

For employees that still go into the office regularly, how do you protect your employees from catching contagious illnesses? 

Don’t worry – there’s a simple solution. 

Keeping workers healthy in the office 

How do you avoid the spread of contagious illnesses between employees, even when they’re working in the office some or all the time? 

The answer: Hand Hygiene is everything.

Did you know that providing hand sanitizer in common areas can decrease the number of absent days by up to 21%

It’s true! The best way to keep your staff safe and healthy during cold and flu seasons is frequent, thorough hand washing. 

How to keep absences low and productivity high

Speaking of productivity – did you know that employee productivity improves by 12-20% just by updating your workplace washroom space? 

Surveys show that 89% of employees think clean, fresh restroom spaces prove their employers care about their wellbeing. 

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If you’re looking for ways to boost and maintain revenue, don’t think just about avoiding sick days – think about the overall health and happiness of your employees.

Boost productivity and revenue with elevated workplace washrooms

Citron Hygiene provides a host of services that will help your business stay functional and healthy during the cold and flu season. 

We provide: 

We also specialize in touch-free washroom solutions to stop spread of bacteria and viruses, and expert menstrual waste and diaper waste removal, keeping your staff safe from cross-contamination. 

Simple upgrades like the installation of air purifiers can lead to major increases in productivity and is well worth the investment. 

Reach out today to schedule your free consultation and plan your strategy to boost revenue, decrease illnesses, and show your employees you care. 

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.

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