According to a recent survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the average level of sickness absence in 2015 was 6.9 working days, costing businesses an estimated £554.00 per employee. At first glance, that figure may not seem particularly alarming. However, base that on a business with as few as twenty operatives, and you could be looking at an additional cost absorption of over £11,000 per year. And when we put it like that, the issue of infection control seems so much more pressing than it did thirty seconds ago.

Dr William Bird, Medical Consultant at the Meteorological Office’s Health Forecast Unit, emphasises that December is when ‘seasonal’ illnesses tend to become more prevalent. Office space combined with a high density of people means that members of staff can become increasingly susceptible to contagious infections, such as norovirus and the common cold, which are often passed from person to person through indirect contact; i.e. touching the keyboard of an affected co-worker. Consequently, cross-contamination becomes rife and with flu viruses being able to survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours, simple hygiene steps such as regular hand-washing aren’t always preventative enough in isolation.

BioCote antimicrobial technology operates around the clock to kill illness-causing microbes, such as bacteria, mould and fungi, and is quickly becoming a vital component in the global fight against infection. It may be of particular interest to business owners that our range of additives are manufactured into an array of different materials, including impregnated paper laminates which are often used for desk surfaces; sited as one of the most contaminated areas in an office environment.

In a recent lab study, we exposed samples of BioCote® silver ion-treated laminates and impregnated papers to five different fungal species. Following a period of 28 days, we found that the material did not support observable (macroscopic and microscopic) mould growth, meaning BioCote technology was ultimately effective in preventing the spread of potentially harmful microbes. Impressive, we know!

Now, imagine that the desks, kitchen appliances and bathroom facilities in your office were all BioCote protected. Surely that would help to prevent the spread of infection, lead to a happier, healthier group of employees who are a lot less likely to fall victim to transmittable infections and, in-turn, reduce the colossal outlays associated with workforce absenteeism? Seems like a no-brainer to us, even if we are appearing to be ever so slightly biased. Some might say, the proof is in the pudding. And to that, we respond with the results of our ground-breaking classroom study, which demonstrated a 94% reduction in pupil sickness following the introduction of antimicrobial equipment. We rest our case.

To that end, we will leave you with a recent statistic from Initial Washroom Hygiene and the Centre for Economic and Business Research: ‘47% of illnesses can be reduced by effective hand washing’. If such a simple practice can slash infection rates in half, imagine how much more hygienic your office environment would be if you also utilised BioCote protected products. Contact us to find out more: +44 (0) 2477 712 489.