Three-quarters of workers punch in while sick: survey

January 19, 2011

Chicago – Nearly 3 out of every 4 employees go to work when they are sick, according to survey results released Jan. 19 by CareerBuilder. The nationwide survey of more than 3,700 workers found 72 percent of employees work while sick and 55 percent said they feel guilty when they call in.

"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. "They should talk to their managers about staying home if they are sick, or ask about other options, such as working remotely."

More than half of employees surveyed said they had gotten sick from a co-worker who came to work while ill.

To prevent the spread of germs in the workplace, Haefner suggests:

  • Stay home when sick. If you must come into work, work away from others, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash hands regularly.
  • Manage stress by exercising regularly and taking breaks throughout the workday.
  • Talk to human resources about your workplace's sick policy. Offer to telecommute, delegate or call in when sick.