More than one-half of Canadians work when sick

Many concerned about workload for co-workers: Survey

While cold and flu season is expected to hold steady throughout March, Canadians are as reluctant as ever to take a sick day, according to a survey released by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson that found more people (62 per cent) are going to work sick than staying home.

“People aren’t taking sick days, one reason being that they feel they aren’t allowed to and that it’ll be frowned upon,” said Nora Spinks, CEO of Work-Life Harmony Enterprises, a research and consulting firm based in Toronto. “Managers want and need their employees to rest and recuperate when they are sick. Managers know that to do well, you need to be well, which means some days you need to stay home from work to get well."

Nine out of 10 Canadians who were told to go home sick from work actually did while 75 per cent of those who called in sick felt they made the right decision, found the survey of 1,020 adults.

While almost all Canadians (93 per cent) agreed sleep is what they need to feel better when sick, 65 per cent of those who stay home to get better check work email and phone messages. And 61 per cent said they don’t want to add to their co-workers’ workload.

"It’s wonderful to see how dedicated Canadians are to their work and colleagues but they can’t forget to take care of themselves too,” said Spinks. “Talk to your managers about staying home when sick and get set up to work from home if possible.”

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