Should You Go To Work Sick? Not!

You’ve gotta love employees who stick with you in sickness and in health—but do you really want employees getting everyone else in the office sick?

Especially in a down economy, it seems workers are willing to come to the office even when they are fighting the flu. Indeed, an Accountemps survey reveals that 67 percent of employees admit to “at least somewhat frequently” coming to work when they are feeling ill.

But is that the smartest business move? A better small business policy may be to let workers telecommute from a virtual office when they are feeling sick. That way, they can keep up with important e-mails and a few phone calls without spreading the cold, flu or other virus to the rest of the crew. It seems many would agree.

Indeed, at least a third of employees would prefer their sick co-workers stay home. Thirty-four percent of workers surveyed said they worry about being exposed to bugs when their co-workers come in to the office sick. By contrast, only 8 percent are impressed by their co-workers’ dedication.

Who or what is influencing the decision to come to work sick? Perhaps job loyalty, perhaps income constraints, or perhaps pushy bosses. Although half of employees said their managers encourage them to stay home if they aren’t well, 11 percent said their bosses frown on them taking sick days.

“Most people are well-intentioned—they show up even when they aren’t feeling well because they don’t want to fall behind in their work or burden colleagues who cover for them. However, they risk spreading their illness to others and affecting the entire team,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies, 2nd Edition. “Employers should encourage staff to stay home if they are under the weather and provide tips on what employees can do to prevent the spread of illness in general.”

Which camp does your small business fall into? Would you rather let sick workers stay home and rest? Do you have systems in place that make it possible for them to connect to the office virtually or keep up with clients through intranets while they are on the mend? More and more, technology makes it possible for even under the weather employees to keep the ball rolling—without infecting the entire office.

Interestingly enough, Connecticut could become the first state in the nation with a mandatory sick pay day bill. Check out this new video on sick days:



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