Friday, June 19, 2015

Sick but still at work

According to a just-released survey, South Africans won’t let a cold or flu get the better of them with 8 in 10 determined to go to work even though they are sick– a phenomenon known as "presenteeism".

48% said they just can’t afford to take a day off work due to mounting workloads, while 33% argued that they’re just too essential to the business operation.
17%, however, said their employer discourages them from taking sick leave or when they do, they get penalised for it, and a further 11% fear of losing their jobs when they do take time off to recover.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson of Pharma Dynamics says many organisations have reported a growing culture of "presenteeism" in the workplace, which usually leads to lower-than-normal productivity levels and can actually cost employers more than it would if sick employees would just take a sick day. “Studies show that productivity levels only drop to about 28% when employees take sick leave compared to a much more significant drop of 72% when they show up at work feeling lousy.” She attributes this trend to the prolonged economic stagnation. “To some, physically showing up at work every day means job security. People want to make sure that they are not forgotten about and want to prove that they are committed to their jobs.” But, with more sick employees hovering around the office, the risk of spreading viruses and making others sick, increases substantially. 

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