The flu is responsible for an estimated 70 million missed work days and billions of dollars in lost office productivity each year.
According to the sixth annual Flu Season Survey from Staples, employees and employers are well aware of the impact of the flu on workplace productivity, but more than half of people surveyed -53% -say they have gone to work with the flu.
Among other findings, experts say about 58 percent of people are still coming to work sick because they feel there is too much going on at work to take a sick day, an uptick from 30 percent in 2012.
Meantime, half of them feel the pressure to be at work or “tough it out,” and 25 percent don’t feel confident that someone else can handle their work when they’re out sick.
There is an even larger issue at the management level with 30 percent of business decision makers (BDMs) indicating their boss expects them to come to work if they have the flu, while only 19 percent of office workers say so.
Dr. Chuck Gerba with The University of Arizona recommends keeping your hands clean.
“Use hand santizers when appropriate make them available in offices. Good hand hygiene shows you reduce your risk of getting common infections by 30-50 per cent,” Gerba says.
“If you really have the full blown flu.. don’t come to work… your coworkers are going to appreciate it more if you don’t come to work because they’re not looking to get sick or they don’t want their family members to get sick,” says Chris Correnti with Staples — the company conducting the most recent healthy workplace survey.
Remember flu symptoms are treatable if a physician is seen as soon as symptoms arise.
News 11’s Max Tarlton will have the full story tonight in our Healthline11 Report on KYMA Evening Edition at 6 p.m. MST!