Sick? South African? You’re probably at work

2014-08-12 12:49

Eight out of 10 South Africans interviewed in a new survey say illness isn’t enough to make them stay away from work.

Pharma Dynamics polled about 1 900 people to gauge their attitudes to illness – and discovered that we’re a nation of sickly hard workers.

Some of the survey’s findings include:

» 48% said they couldn’t afford to take a day off work because they simply had too much on their plate;

» 33% said they were just too important to their companies to consider taking a day off;

» 12% go to work even if they’re sick – because they hope their boss will send them home;

» 17% told Pharma Dynamics their bosses punished them for taking sick leave, so they just didn’t bother; and

» 11% said they were scared of losing their jobs if they stayed home to get better.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics, said many companies reported a “growing culture of ‘presenteeism’ in the workplace” – that is, employees coming in even when they are sick.

“Studies show that productivity levels only drop to about 28% when employees take sick leave compared with a much more significant drop of 72% when they show up at work feeling lousy,” Van Aswegen said.

“To some, physically showing up at work every day means job security. People want to make sure that they are not forgotten about and want to prove that they are committed to their jobs.”

With sick employees come germs, and the survey found that 38% of those interviewed didn’t do anything to keep themselves clean while sick by using hand sanitisers, disinfectant wipes or soap.

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