Ask employees, and many will say they frequently show up to work even when they’re in poor health. But new research shows managers aren’t aware of that behavior.
Almost half (45%) of employees say they “very frequently” come to the office when they’re sick, according to a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam. However, only 17% of managers surveyed say working while sick is common among their staff.
In this economy, many workers refuse to take sick days because they don’t want to look like slackers. But doing so can cause more harm than good: Sick employees are less productive and more prone to mistakes, health problems can snowball and require even longer recovery times, and co-workers might catch the bug.
To avoid those costly problems associated with “presenteeism,” OfficeTeam recommends that managers keep an eye on their employees and encourage them to take sick days when there’s a need. Also, the firm suggests managers:
- set a good example by staying home when they’re sick
- clarify absence policies, and
- allow telecommuting whenever possible, so sick employees can stay productive without risking others’ health.