The Cost of Not Taking a Sick Day

From The Atlantic:

Your nose is running, your throat is scratchy, and your eyes are burning. But you drag yourself out of bed, dress, and head to the office anyway feeling virtuous and sick. Once there, you proceed to share your virus with your coworkers. But at least you showed up to get the job done, right?

Wrong, according to a new study. Presenteeism — attending work while ill — is not always a smart choice for individuals or the organizations for which they work. It is entirely possible that a worker who is ill may be present physically, but mentally he or she might as well be home in bed.

A flu or cold virus or other illness spreading among coworkers can mean the loss of more than one employee’s productivity. It can paralyze entire departments. The study found that certain organizational cultures tend to promote presenteeism, or at least discourage absenteeism.

For the study, Gary Johns, a management professor at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business surveyed 444 people, asking about their job requirements, work experience, the numbers of days they had been out sick (absenteeism), and the number of days they had come to work feeling ill (presenteeism).

Read more from The Atlantic: The Cost of Not Taking a Sick Day »

This entry was posted in In The News, Paid Sick Days and tagged , on by .

About waworkfam

The Washington Work and Family Coalition includes representatives of seniors, women, labor, health professionals, children’s advocates, faith communities, low income workers, employers, non-profits and other organizations. We’re working together to make it easier for parents to raise healthy children and care for aging parents; for workers to care for themselves or their partners in the event of a serious illness; and for businesses to offer modern workplace standards that improve productivity and worker health.

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