UNDER THE WEATHER AT WORK

Survey: Some Managers Unaware How Often Employees Come to Office Sick

MENLO PARK, CA -- More than four out of 10 (45 percent) professionals recently surveyed admitted they very frequently go to work when they feel sick. However, only 17 percent of managers polled believe the practice is this common.

The two surveys were developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. They were conducted by an independent research firm and include responses from 522 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Workers were asked, “How frequently do you go into work when you’re feeling sick?” Their responses:

Very frequently   45%
Somewhat frequently   30%
Somewhat infrequently   17%
Never      8%
    100%

Executives were asked, “How often do you think employees come to work when they feel sick?” Their responses:

Very frequently   17%
Somewhat frequently   57%
Somewhat infrequently   24%
Never      1%
    99%*

                                * Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

OfficeTeam notes that some managers may not realize the adverse effects of this practice on productivity, and offers them the following tips for ensuring staff do not come to work when ill:

  • Communicate expectations. Let staff know that you prefer they stay home when they’re sick to ensure a quicker recovery.
  • Set an example. Employees are more likely to stay home when they’re sick if you do the same.
  • Give options. Allowing employees to work from home if they think they’re coming down with a cold or the flu can help them stay productive without spreading a potential illness to others.
  • Offer help. Bring in temporary professionals to keep projects on track when employees are out sick for more than a day or two.

Survey Methodology
The national surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey of professionals is based on telephone interviews with 522 full- or part-time office workers from a starting sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 or older. The results were then weighted to provide nationally representative and projectable estimates of the adult population 18 years of age and older. The sample is post-stratified and balanced by key demographics such as age, sex, race, region and education. The manager survey is based on telephone interviews with 150 randomly selected senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam provides businesses with the highly skilled administrative professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support full-time staff. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.


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