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Take A Day Off If You Get Sick

It's hard enough just getting out of bed when you are not feeling well, but going to work sick is a different matter. To get over a bad cold, the flu, bouts with asthma, allergies, migraine headaches, and certain other ailments takes time and requires rest and a possible doctor's visit and medicine.

No illness should not be taken lightly. When you get sick and go to work, or if you go out into the general public, you spread germs that put your co-workers and other people at risk of catching what you have. Your workplace then becomes a haven for germs and viruses and how your illness often affects a lot more than what you might think.

Why do people go to work when they are sick? There are many reasons.

  • Don't have health or dental insurance
  • Stressed out about the economy
  • Afraid they may lose their job
  • May feel that their work will get behind
  • Have to meet a deadline
  • Don't want to leave co-workers in a bind
  • May be behind on their bills
  • May be facing bankruptcy
  • Home may be in foreclosure
  • Just being macho or trying to prove something to the boss

For many people, it's hard to take a day off from work, for illnesses or for any other reason, especially when the economy is in a recession. Some people are one paycheck away from foreclosure on their homes and others are on the brink of bankruptcy. A day's lost wages could spell disaster.

People who work on jobs that don't provide health or dental insurance are particularity vulnerable and some companies don't pay for medical time off and with the high costs of doctor's visits, some people just get up and go to work no matter how bad they feel.

In reality, your illness may prevent you from doing your job in an efficient and effective manner and you may hurt your fellow employees by making them sick, too. Going to work sick hinders productivity and by making other's ill, there may be a larger number of your fellow employee's who call in and that costs the company more in the long run.

Studies show that employees who go to work sick cost their employers hundreds of dollars each year because, when not feeling well, the employees often has difficulty keeping their minds on their work, thus working slower and hindering productivity.

  • "Presenteeism" is a term used to describe ailing workers who show up for work and don't perform their jobs in a productive manner.
  • Over all, "presenteeism" is said to cost U.S. companies nearly $180 billion each year in lost productivity.
  • "Presenteeism" exceeds the costs of medical and disability benefits, which many employer's don't recognize as having a negative financial impact on their business.

Going to work sick is therefore considered unhealthy for the person who is sick, fellow employees, and the company as a whole. This is not to say that every time an employee gets a cold, the employee should take off. On the contrary, an employee should make every effort to go to work, but if he knows that he is too sick to be productive, or if he has a virus that can be spread to other people, like the flu, he should take a day a two off to rest and to recuperate.

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