Saturday, February 03, 2007

Is Work Really The Right Place to Recuperate?

tidbits that tantalize

Take Me

Straight To The

Conference Room...

It started over the weekend. A bit of a scratchy throat, a mild fever. You barely slept with all the sniffling, coughing and wheezing. Thank goodness it's Monday and you can finally get back to work. Nothing like your comfy little cubicle and friendly coworkers to take your mind off your ills and chills.

Yes, it would seem that many - OK, the reports say most - workers continue to show up at work despite feeling sick.

Is that a problem?

Well, it depends on your perspective. Workers often see staying home as a detriment to both their pocketbooks and their egos. Recent studies show close to 50% of private sector workers have no annual sick leave benefits. No wonder these workers continue to drag themselves out of the goose down comfort zone and trudge wearily off to work.

And, really... Is it even necessary to delve into the indispensable responsibilities shouldered by the ranks of the sniffling, the hacking, the wheezing? Of course not...

Employers, however, express a growing concern about the habit, dubbed presenteeism, of showing up for work when ill. A recent survey revealed 56% of human resource executives voiced concerns over the trend. An additional 12% had severe sore throats and expressed their concern in writing.

Employers point to loss of productivity, prolonged illness and the potential of infecting coworkers as primary concerns.

What's to be done?

Well, there's always etiquette to consider. Business and Legal Reports gives some interesting workplace tips in Do You Know the Proper Way to be Sick at Work?


Here's a revolutionary idea. When you're sick, stay home. Your coworkers will thank you and, should the business actually fall of the face of the earth due to your absence, well... You may still be sick, but just think of how perversely satisfied you'll feel.

To read more about presenteeism, see this from Reuters Health.


Blogger Devon Ellington said...

I agree with that -- when you're sick, stay home. But then, corporate policies need to be changed -- and the entire health care system needs to be changed -- so that legimately sick people CAN stay home when genuinely ill without losing income.

Four sick days a year (which is what my union gives us) doesn't cut it.

I worked for a company once where we HAD to take one "well day" per month -- paid. The amount of sick time went down drastically. And when people were legitimately sick, they weren't penalized.

11:42 AM  

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