Every Finance chief knows at least one stubborn staffer who refuses to take a sick day — even if he or she really should. But new research suggests the problem is greatly understated. Just how understated? Around 75% of employees admit that they go into the office when they feel ill. That’s according to a recent study by the staffing firm OfficeTeam.
To be more exact, 45% of those surveyed said they go into work when they’re sick “very frequently,” and 30% of respondents said they do it “somewhat frequently.”
Perhaps the most telling part of the survey: executive perception. For example, when execs were asked how often they thought their staffers came into the office when they felt sick, only 17% said “very frequently.”
Presenteeism, lowered productivity and the risk of infecting other workers are just a few reasons why sick staffers should stay at home. But record layoffs of late will probably make employees even less likely to call out. Here are a few effective ways to keep sick employees from coming into the office:
- Lead by example. If you’re the one going through countless boxes of tissues and coughing up a storm, your team is apt to feel they’re supposed to “tough it out” as well.
- Let ’em work from home. Yet another endorsement for creating some form of a telecommuting policy: If you have a workaholic who just can’t take a day off, tell him or her to work from home. That way, you won’t risk said staffer coming in and passing out their bug like a box of donuts. Note: If you do go this route, make sure to have a few safeguards to ensure people don’t take advantage of your “work-from-home-if-you’re-sick” policy.