Almost three-quarters of U.S. workers typically go to work sick

More than one-half got sick from co-worker: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 01/19/2011

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of workers typically go to work when they are sick, according to a CareerBuilder survey of 3,910 workers in the United States.

Workplace pressures and "presenteeism" may cause workers to go in under the weather, as more than one-half (55 per cent) of workers said they feel guilty if they call in sick.

But with so many workers heading to work ill, it’s likely they’re passing their germs on to others. More than one-half of workers (53 per cent) said they have gotten sick from a co-worker who came to the office sick while 12 per cent said they picked up a bug from someone who was sick on public transportation going to or from work.

"It's important for employees to take care of their health and the health of others by staying at home if they aren't feeling well," said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Even if workers feel pressure to be at the office, they should talk to their managers about staying home if they are sick or ask about other options, such as working remotely. Most employers are flexible and understand that employees are more productive if they are feeling their best."

Nearly one-in-five (19 per cent) employees said their companies provided flu shots at their office. And 38 per cent of the workers surveyed said they had a flu shot this year.

When workers were asked about other ways they attempt to avoid germs, they said:

“I wash my hands often.” (78 per cent)

“I carry hand sanitizer with me and use it often.” (32 per cent)

“I regularly clean my keyboard, phone or desk.” (30 per cent)

“I avoid shaking hands with people.” (15 per cent)

“I skip meetings where I know people are sick.” (Three per cent)

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