86% go into work with an infectious illness


More than eight in 10 (86%) respondents will go into the workplace with an infectious illness, according to research by GP video consultation service Pushdoctor.co.uk.

Its survey of 1,014 UK employees also found that 88% of respondents feel uncomfortable phoning in sick when ill.

The research also found:

  • Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents feel under pressure to go into the workplace when unwell.
  • 22% feel that their manager would prefer them to go into work if they have an infectious illness, as long as it is not too serious.
  • 21% of respondents feel uncomfortable being around colleagues who have an infectious illness.
  • More than half (59%) of respondents would go into work with a cough or cold, 32% would go into the workplace with a throat infection or strep throat, 22% would go in with flu, and 15% would go into work with the norovirus.
  • Half (50%) of respondents in the marketing industry feel their boss would prefer them to be at work if they have an infectious illness, unless it is serious. This compares to 39% of respondents in the utility industry and 27% of respondents in manufacturing.

Eren Ozagir, chief executive officer at Pushdoctor.co.uk, said: “Work pressures can mean finding the time to see a doctor and get advice about whether sick leave is necessary can be difficult. UK businesses must provide their staff with working cultures that encourage seeking medical advice and time off to recover.

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“Providing employees access to a GP who can give expert diagnosis or opinion on when it is best to stay at home, or whether they are fit for work, can save the rest of the office from contagious diseases and illness.

“Having employees in the office while they’ve got contagious illnesses is not good business sense, and it has a detrimental effect on productivity, morale and staff turnover.”