Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Coming in sick is not something to be proud of...
Do you go to work even when you are sick? That's dedication your boss may not like.
"Presenteeism" - the term used to refer to sick employees who show up at work - is a growing concern for companies worried about the bottom line. A recent Unscheduled Absence Survey from CCH Incorporated, a publisher of human resources information, found that presenteeism affected more than half of the companies it polled. Other studies show that the loss of productivity from presenteeism, which can cost U.S. companies upward of $180 billion annually, is far worse than the reduced productivity that results when employees fail to show up to work. If an employee is sick, not only is he or she less likely to be productive but also risks contaminating the entire office.
Why don't sick workers just stay home? The CCH survey cited a number of reasons including wanting to preserve precious vacation time, saving sick days for later in the year, and even company loyalty. But the No. 1 reason for presenteeism in the office is the fear of missing deadlines.
Let's face it, we all have hefty work loads and it's not likely that someone else will pick up the slack while we are home recovering. But perhaps the following information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention can help you decide when you really are too sick for work.
Generally if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should probably just stay home: high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. In some cases, it's possible to work from home. But, if you absolutely must be at work, remember healthy habits such as covering your mouth and nose and frequently washing your hands can help prevent spreading germs to the entire office - a courtesy your coworkers will appreciate!
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