When calling in sick isn’t an option

Presenteeism [prez-uh n-tee-iz-uh m] nounthe practice of coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc.,often resulting in reduced productivity.

  • On average, presenteeism costs businesses £605 per person each year.
  • 45% of companies state that on average, up to a quarter of their staff comes to work when sick.
  • Presenteeism costs businesses 10 times more than absenteeism.
  • 27 days of productive time per employee are lost each year due to presenteeism.
  • 67% of 18-26-year-olds feel obliged to stay in the workplace longer than their contracted hours.

If you’re not feeling well, you stay home until you feel better. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, there are several reasons why people may feel they have to come into work, some include:

  • Not thinking you’re “sick enough” to take time off.
  • Needing to set a “good example” to the rest of the team.
  • Having a heavy workload and nobody to cover.
  • Feeling guilt due to nobody else taking time off.
  • Not being able to financially afford to take time off.

We are very lucky to have statutory sick pay here in the UK. Our employers must pay us £89.35 for every week that we are sick up to 28 weeks. This may only be a fraction of your wages, but it should be enough to know that if you did need to take a week off, you wouldn’t be completely out of pocket.

On average, it takes from 3-7 days to get over the common cold if you’re resting. If you come into work when you have a cold, not only are you less productive, but you’re not recovering and you’re spreading your germs around the office. More people will be getting sick. Just because you’re at work, it doesn’t mean you’re working – so take some time off to rest, your body and maybe even your colleagues will thank you for it!


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