Thursday, January 20, 2011

Employees Keep Coming To Work Sick

It isn't your imagination if it seems like everyone at work is sneezing, wheezing and popping lemon-flavored throat lozenges.

A new CareerBuilder survey of 3,700 workers finds nearly three-fourths (72%) are coming to work when they're sick enough to stay home. A full 55% said they feel guilty for calling in sick. I suspect they're just as worried, if not more so, about getting fired.

So now your co-worker isn't just sick of work, he's sick at work. Restaurant employees are among the worst in terms of coming to work sick. With any luck, they won't sneeze on your turkey sandwich while they're making it.

Bottom line: You have a very good chance of being around a co-worker on any given day who has some kind of contagion. In fact, more than half of the employees surveyed (53%) said they've picked up an illness from a co-worker. Now this is a form of teamwork that nobody really wants.

I covered the flu and cold topic fairly recently and offered tips for staying well in addition to a number of recent statistics. Here's the story.

But the scope of potential workplace pathogens goes far beyond flu and cold. Pertussis has been making a huge comeback, and pneumonia is making the rounds even in non-humans. Bill and Melinda Gates have pneumonia on their radar now. Then there's pink eye. It's not just for kids anymore.

Well, it could always be worse. I'll throw it to Dustin Hoffman.

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