How to support your staff with hay fever.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and according to NHS data around 20% of the UK suffer from it.
Hay fever is typically worse between late March and September and symptoms can include:
- sneezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- pain around your temples and forehead
- feeling tired
If you’re suffering with any of these symptoms the NHS suggests to do the following:
- Stay indoors whenever possible and keep windows and doors shut as much as you can
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen getting into your eyes
- Shower and change your clothes
Ways you can help your employees
If you don’t suffer from hay fever, I’m sure you can imagine how difficult it is during these months and how it could affect your employees and their ability to work effectively. If possible, offering a higher level of flexibility with remote working could help and allows the employee to stay indoors as much possible.
If the person is required to come into the workplace, then steps should be taken to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
The workspaces should be kept clean and tidy to eliminate any dust or allergens that may cause further reactions. It is also so important to keep the air clean and the rooms ventilated, however this can be difficult to do when the advice is to keep doors and windows closed. Air conditioning units or air purifiers can be costly but is a worthwhile investment as they will really benefit those suffering with hay fever.
Although these tips will support hay fever suffers to feel more comfortable, they’re not necessarily going to make them feel 100% better, so it’s important to check in to see how they feel and ask if there is anything you can do to help.
There are many treatments available so if an employee is really struggling you could suggest they speak to their local pharmacist or GP.