Last year 131 million working days were lost to sickness, which is an average of 4.4 days per person per year. Although this is less than previous years more people are going to work feeling under the weather!  Reports suggest employees are currently too anxious about calling in sick, so they just head into work anyway.  As most of us work in closed office environments where just one sneeze can turn you into a dribbling mess, this sickness will ultimately spread through the office like wild fire.

One by one, a colleague will either call in sick or actually make it work to spread the vicious cycle.  Either way, production will be affected and the potential risk to the profit margin can have serious consequences for the business.  Should sick days be promoted to prevent more people in the office being infected?  In Australia, like holiday leave you can accumulate sick leave; with 10 days per year entitlement.  In the U.S. they have PTO’s where vacation and sick days are bundled together to create ‘Paid Time Off’, but as always there is no one size fits all when it comes to a company’s sickness policy.  What works for one business environment, may simply just encourage absenteeism in another.

Now you may feel dedicated to take yourself in to work when you are feeling ill, but is it really worth infecting your colleagues with the same symptoms that you picked up on the way.  Let’s face it, the office is not a chicken pox party, but getting sick is part of life so when should we stay home?

What is a good enough reason to call in sick?  If you wake up feeling sneezy, sleepy, dopey and grumpy, as if you’ve turned into nearly all of Snow White’s dwarves…  you may be wondering if you should tough it out or just stay home. In the end, it all boils down to whether you are contagious or not.  If you are, stay at home please!   But if you feel like you could just do with a day watching DVDs or you’re suffering from hay fever, grab a tissue and get to work!