The impact of this flu season has been costly to employers. A study last year by Walgreens found out that 100 million workdays and approximately $7 billion in wages were lost during the 2010-2011 flu season. A recent CDC report estimates that U.S. employers paid $10.4 billion in hospitalization and outpatient costs – and they think it’s on track to be even worse this season. Keep in mind this doesn’t take into account lost productivity from employees who report to work and spread the illness to other coworkers.
What’s amazing is that most organizations do not have a plan in place for how to address a bad flu season (or any flu season for that matter). Every organization should have a mobile workstyle strategy that improves productivity, reduces employer costs, and increases employee satisfaction during the flu season. The best way to address this is to have a flexible work policy that keeps sick employees at home and away from the office yet provides them with the access to work remote but effectively.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Create a flexible work environment where sick workers stay home without fear of losing their jobs.
- Craft flexible work-anywhere policies so parents can care for an ill child or one who is home sick.
- Provide remote workers secure but controlled access to their corporate apps, desktops and data.
- Deliver a self-service enterprise app store that enables remote employees access to all their corporate apps (Windows, Web, SaaS or Mobile).
- Provide tools that give workers the ability to meet, communicate and collaborate with people both inside and outside the office with ease.
- And most importantly, set expectations for the level of productivity required when working remotely (if they’re too sick to work then they should take that time off to recover).
For tools and resources on how to design a Work-Anywhere program check out the Citrix Workshifting Starter Kit. This Workshifting Starter Kit offers practical guidance and resources to help you increase productivity and enable workforce continuity. Also visit Citrix Business Continuity for the latest information on our solutions.
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