Canadian Workers Say They Feel Guilty If They Call in Sick

April 28, 2011 ( - A new CareerBuilder Canada survey finds that 66% of workers typically go to work when they are sick.

Workplace pressures and “presenteeism” may be causing workers to go in under the weather, as more than 60% of workers said they feel guilty if they call in sick.  

According to a press release, nearly six-in-ten workers (58%) said they have gotten sick from a co-worker who came to the office sick, while 21% said they picked up a bug from someone who was sick on public transportation going to or from work.   

Twelve percent of employees said their companies provided flu shots at their office. Twenty-eight percent said they were proactive and got a flu shot this year.   

Strategies workers cited for avoiding germs include: 

  • I wash my hands often – 76%; 
  • I regularly clean my keyboard, phone, desk, etc. – 29%; 
  • I carry hand sanitizer with me and use it often – 24%; 
  • I avoid shaking hands with people – 18%; and 
  • I skip meetings where I know people are sick – 4%. 


The survey was conducted online within Canada by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 550 Canadian workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010.