A co-worker calls in sick and you can't help but think, "Hmm, I wonder if she's really sick or she's going to the mall." If a new Kronos/Harris Interactive survey is to be believed, the mall might be a better guess.
The survey concludes that half of working Americans are regularly faking sick days. You're not going to be able to make it to work today because you're not feeling well. Blah, blah -- we've all heard it before. But the half-yearly sale is starting today at your favorite department store and you want to snag the best deals. Besides, you're burned out after weeks (or months) of high stress and heavy workload. If your company would simply offer more paid time off or some much-needed flex time, you wouldn't have to resort to such measures. Sure, your co-workers are going to be pissed off and they'll suspect that you're not really sick, but they're taking their own "sick" days here and there -- curiously, always on a Friday or a Monday -- and so they can suck it up, right?
Well, just know that you're not alone because half of U.S. employees are calling in "sick" too, while nearly the same percentage of workers in China and Australia are leaving their own "I'm too sick to come to work today" messages. So it's not that Americans are more lazy or duplicitous than anyone else; skipping work is a part of the human condition! So is lower daily productivity, apparently. Oh, the humanity.