Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018!
SHRM board member David Windley discusses how unconscious bias can derail workplace diversity efforts.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
A sense of obligation to co-workers is the top reason why some employees drag themselves into work even when they’re sick, according to a recent survey.
The findings, released April 9, 2008, are from an annual online survey that LifeCare Inc. conducted in March with employees from its 1,500 client organizations. This was the first time in the survey’s three-year history that a sense of obligation to co-workers was the leading response.
In 2006, a sense of obligation to co-workers was the reason 25 percent gave for reporting to work sick, second only to feeling it was too risky to take time off from work (32 percent).
“It’s well known that employees who work sick are actually creating a greater risk for their co-workers and a greater risk of lost productivity for their organizations,” LifeCare CEO Peter G. Burki said in a press release.
“Even so, our workplace cultures don’t seem to be getting the message through that taking a little time off when you’re ill is not only wiser but also acceptable.”
However, employers increasingly are taking the stance that sick employees should stay home, according to LifeCare, citing studies that have suggested presenteeism costs U.S. businesses $150 billion or more annually in lost productivity.
In LifeCare’s 2007 presenteeism survey, the top three reasons for reporting to work sick: Employees said it was too risky to take time off from work (31 percent); they were too busy to stay home (23 percent), and they were saving sick days for child care or elder care emergencies (18 percent).
In findings released in January 2008 from the
2007 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, too much work or impending deadlines was the No. 1 reason respondents gave for coming to work sick.
Eighty-seven percent of U.S. employers in the CCH survey reported that sick employees who show up to work suffer from short-term illnesses such as a cold or flu, which can be spread easily,
SHRM Online reported. Sending sick employees home is the most common approach employers take to reduce presenteeism, the CCH survey found.
Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News. She can be reached at
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Become a SHRM Member
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies