Most Staffers Report to Work When Sick

March 8, 2004 ( - The vast majority of employees report going to work when they are sick.

More than three-quarters (77%) of workers polled by ComPsych Corporation responded to working while feeling under-the-weather for a number of reasons. Overall, only 23% said they do not work while sick, putting their health first.

For the remaining group, the most prevalent reason given (33%) was that working while sick was necessitated by the workload. This was followed by 26% that said it felt “risky” to take off in the current environment and 18% that save their sick days for when their kids needed them.

“Despite one of the toughest flu seasons in recent memory, the vast majority of employees who got sick forced themselves to work this winter,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “Unfortunately, the practice of working while sick – often perpetuated by corporate culture – not only results in ‘presenteeism’ but in the spread of illness for an even greater reduction in productivity. Employers should encourage workers to take time -off when sick, which actually will increase productivity in the long term.”