Survey: A Third of Workers Will not 'Risk' Taking a Sick Day

March 21, 2006 ( - Asked "When you go to work sick, what is your main reason," 32% of respondents to a LifeCare Inc. poll said it is "too risky to take time off."

The risk of taking a sick day was the most cited response to this year’s poll, according to a press release. In 2004, poll respondents most commonly worked sick because they were stressed about their workload.

Other reasons cited by employees for working sick, according to the release, included:

  • “Other people depend on me and I don’t want to let them down.” – 25%
  • “too busy to stay home” – 12%
  • “save sick days for child care emergencies” – 9%
  • “save sick days for vacation time” – 5%
  • “save sick days for elder care emergencies” – 3%
  • “other” reasons – 8%

Only 6% of pollsters said they do not work when they are sick.

LifeCare CEO Peter Burki said working sick actually does not benefit anyone. “People simply aren’t as productive when they work sick, and there’s a good chance they’ll spread their illness no matter how careful they try to be. This begins a vicious cycle that can end up costing employers significantly in terms of health care expenditures, lost productivity and higher levels of absenteeism,” he said.

More information about work/life services provider LifeCare can be found at .