Workers at work in sickness and in health

Jan. 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Nearly three-quarters of U.S. workers come to work when they're sick, egged on by feelings of guilt, a CareerBuilder survey released Wednesday indicated.

Fifty-five percent of workers said they felt guilty if they missed work because of an illness -- and a whopping 72 percent said they go to work when ailing, CareerBuilder said in release issued from Chicago.

But while going to work may help the sick worker feel better, the employee's presence may be sickening co-workers, the survey indicated. Fifty-three percent of workers said they got sick from a co-worker who came to the office sick, while 12 percent said they picked up a bug while using public transportation.

"It's important for employees to take care of their health and the health of others by staying at home if they aren't feeling well," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

"Even if workers feel pressure to be at the office, they should talk to their managers about staying home if they are sick, or ask about other options such as working remotely. Most employers are flexible and understand that employees are more productive if they are feeling their best."

The nationwide survey was conducted Nov. 15-Dec. 2 among more than 3,700 workers. The margin of error is 1.57 percentage points.

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