Unwell? Half of us will still come into work

New research has found that almost half of all workers feel under pressure to come into work even when they are struck down with illness.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

The study, conducted by Adecco Retail, found there is a split between how keenly the pressure is felt by men than women. About 36% of men feel they should be at their desk whereas the figure is 53% for women. Furthermore there is a split between younger and older workers: 78% of 16-24-year-olds worry about being in hot water for staying home, whereas less than a third (30%) of those over 55% give the ‘sicky’ any thought.

And it’s not just feeling guilty about coming in – 31% of workers feel as though they are actively expected to carry on working from home when they have an illness, meaning even if you do pull the sicky, you’re on the couch with a laptop answering work emails. 

The survey, which surveyed 1,049 workers from a range of businesses, also found that 49% never take a sick day: 54% of men and 45% of women. Older workers are more likely to turn up, too, with almost two-thirds of over-55s never pulling a sicky, but just a third of 16-24 year olds never taking one. 

Adecco Retail’s MD, Steven Kirkpatrick, said: ‘The findings from the survey are surprising. With almost half of us feeling pressurised to come into work when ill there arte millions of workers at the office when they should really be at home. We advise ill workers to stay at home and suggest employers, for the good of their whole team, encourage those with illness to rest and recuperate.’

Interestingly – and bosses, take note – 38% of respondents said that being able to work flexitime would stop them calling in sick, and another 37% said that working from home occasionally would stop them from pulling a fast one. Perhaps Yahoo’s Marisa Mayer is yet to find this out

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