Handling hay fever in the workplace

person sneezing into a tissue

While many people look forward to the summer with glee, some of us might not be so enthusiastic. Estimates suggest that around 1 in 5 people in the UK[1] suffer from hay fever, with the peak summer months (June to September) particularly insufferable. Good weather just makes it worse with a recent report suggesting that there has actually been an increase in hay fever sufferers due to the UK’s summer heatwave in 2018.

The harsh symptoms of hay fever

The severity of symptoms relating to hay fever can vary between individuals, however the common symptoms include a runny nose, itchy or swollen eyes, sneezing and a scratchy throat[2]. Additional symptoms can also include headaches, lethargy, skin irritations and difficulty sleeping. And it gets worse for people with asthma, where hay fever can also exacerbate difficulties with breathing and even bring on asthma attacks.

It’s easier for hay fever sufferers to manage their symptoms at home, but in the work place it can be slightly more challenging when there is a lack of control. This is where employers and businesses can help.

And for the afflicted, the impact on their productivity and well-being can be huge.

How disruptive is hay fever in the workplace?

For those affected, hay fever can have a massive impact in productivity and overall well-being. If you’re a sufferer of hay fever you’ll already know how hard it is to be your usual productive self. In fact, around 20% of sufferers in the UK have taken time off work as a result of their symptoms, and 95% of sufferers[3] say that they have trouble with the symptoms of hay fever at work.

Hay fever can also be amplified by other allergies or pollutants, such as pet hair, cigarette smoke, traffic fumes and high ozone levels. Using antihistamines and wraparound sunglasses can solve part of the problem, but this normally just provides a brief respite.

It can be hard enough keeping a workforce motivated when it’s hot outside, but hay fever can really sap the reserves of even your most hard-working employee. So what can you do to look after your employees and ensure your workplace creates an environment that minimises the symptoms of hay fever?

Top Tips to alleviate symptoms at work

Minimising the chances of exposure to pollen and other allergens is a top priority, so a few simple steps can make a world of difference.

Keeping workplaces clean and as free from dust as possible is a good start. Regular vacuuming and dusting will help, as will making sure surfaces are clean using good quality anti-bacterial cleaning wipes.  And, of course, avoid bringing fresh flowers into the office, which can be tricky if a team member receives a lovely bunch of flowers from a happy client or secret admirer..

However, some plants actually have natural air cleaning properties, and can be a valuable ally in the fight against air pollution and hay fever. Natural air care solutions include spider plants, peace lilies, aloe vera and English ivy. Keep these plants healthy and watered for the best results with air purification.

Good ventilation can also help, such as using extractor fans or air conditioning. Opening windows to allow fresh air to circulate can be detrimental, especially later in the day.

There are also a range of highly effective technological air care solutions which can be used to purify the air for hay fever sufferers; and to minimise the impacts of pollution for asthma sufferers too. Odour neutralisers clear a number of air pollutants including pollen, dust, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), as well as fumes, bad smells, bacteria and viruses. These washroom care devices can offer a sanctuary for anyone suffering from any allergies, including hay fever.

Effective Air care Solutions

Ease and Clear symptoms with the Citron Clear

Although hay fever sufferers will often struggle on through the worst of it, doing all you can will lessen the impact on your staff, visitors and business. All of the points mentioned above will help, but an effective strategy is to make sure you implement all of these.

Citron Hygiene can also help by providing your workplace with our cutting edge, Citron Clear Odour Neutraliser. The unit is an exceptionally effective air purifier which can be used anywhere in the office and washroom environments. If you’re looking at how to ensure optimum productivity of your staff in the summer months, the CitronClear is one of the best air care solutions for the workplace.

Get in touch with Citron Hygiene using the form on this page or call our friendly team on 08000 66 55 52 to find out more about our air care solutions.

Find out how we can help elevate your washroom experience. Talk to us.

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