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MoneyAustralians know working sick is bad for them, but they do it anyway

08:35  11 july  2019
08:35  11 july  2019 Source:   smartcompany.com.au

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The findings indicate while Australian workers understand going into the office sick is a bad idea, they do it anyway . It points to an unhealthy trend in Australian workplaces where employees are ignoring their health for work , despite being aware they ’re liable to make themselves sicker .

Those who have paid sick time should use it but often don’t, despite doctors’ warnings that it risks “If it ’s bad enough that you’re wondering if you should stay home, you should probably stay home • Wipe surfaces down after touching them . • Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after coughing or

Australians know working sick is bad for them, but they do it anyway© Provided by Private Media Operations Pty Ltd. working sick

We’re often told Australians love pulling sickies, but this winter, businesses are being warned to watch out for the opposite.

It only takes one person to show up to the office sick to turn an entire workplace into a germy hellscape, and new research shows the practice is worryingly common.

A YouGov poll of about 1,000 Aussies released this week has found a whopping two-thirds (66%) expect to go into work sick this winter.

More than half of respondents said they would have to be “really sick” to take a day off work, which is particularly concerning given Australia’s record-breaking flu season.

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It is believed that these more gradual changes in the law are preferable to a complete ban. G. American football is one of the most popular sports in the United States. It is a very physical game and the players wear helmets and special protective clothes.

The bad news for unhappy open-office dwellers: the concept isn’t going away any time soon. But, says Nagele, more companies should consider what he’s found. His employees are happier and more productive—and that helps not just the company, but the team.

But, interestingly, the findings, commissioned by KraftHeinz, also reveal a double standard. While most workers said they will head in sick, four-in-five (83%) encourage those trying to “soldier on” to go home and get rest.

The findings indicate while Australian workers understand going into the office sick is a bad idea, they do it anyway.

It points to an unhealthy trend in Australian workplaces where employees are ignoring their health for work, despite being aware they’re liable to make themselves sicker.

A $34 billion problem

Workers showing up unwell, known as sick presenteeism, costs the Australian economy an estimated $34 billion every year and has been identified as one of the causes for the spread of flu virus.

But research shows workers themselves aren’t necessarily to blame for the problem, revealing large workloads, understaffing, job insecurity and fears of workplace harassment as the real causes.

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The most common symptoms for those who get them , according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, are fever, cough, shortness of breath when they first get sick , and muscle pain or fatigue. Others have reported less common symptoms, including sore or scratchy throat, headache, a productive cough, and nausea

I’m exhausted because it ’s been very busy at work and I’ve been on the _ all day. Daniel had a _ at fixing the washing machine but he couldn’t make it work properly. He has treated me very badly for a long time and I think that the time has now come for me to _ up to him.

Other research has identified a tendency for employers to focus on controlling absence, treating sick workers as a business issue rather than an employee wellbeing problem, which can drive unhealthy attitudes.

Peter Wilson, chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), says sick presenteeism is often a cultural problem.

“It’s a cultural thing really. People come into work when they feel they need to be there. They might feel a restructuring is imminent and they need to be there,” he tells SmartCompany.

Meanwhile, doctors warn working while sick is the worst decision someone can make, likely to make an illness worse, not better.

Deadlines don’t go away in winter, and for those in teams where someone has already fallen ill, deciding to stay home and rest can leave other colleagues in a difficult position.

Meanwhile, workplace culture can make it difficult to discuss the issue, leaving workers feeling they could be left out of important discussions or opportunities if they’re off sick.

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But it 's worse than that . News severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory's capacity is nearly infinite, but working Their brains enjoy a wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to come up with and pursue novel ideas. I don't know a single truly creative mind

6. Excuse me for interrupting you, but may I ask you something? 7. Where are you thinking of escaping for your vacation this year? 8. My bag wasn’t very heavy, but Dave insisted on carrying it for me. 10. It ’s too bad Paul can’t come to the party. I was really looking forward to seeing him.

While doctors advise against that type of thinking, maintaining job security to put food on the table is a priority for millions of Australians.

Addressing sick presenteeism

So what can employers do?

Wilson says the best philosophy small businesses can adopt is to plan for the inevitably of workers falling ill by allowing for flexibility in deadlines and organising flu shots.

Beyond that, he says putting a premium on all-rounders who can cover for their colleagues is important.

“Small businesses don’t have time to develop silos, people need to know as much about other people’s jobs as their own,” he says.

American research has found increasing the number of paid sick days afforded to workers doesn’t necessarily increase absenteeism, but does help address workers showing up sick.

Other suggestions include creating a return to work policy to address information asymmetry around not just taking sick leave but how workers return to the office once they’ve recovered.

Human resources expert David Wurth says leaders need to set the right example, which means business owners feeling under the weather need to step back as well.

“You can’t be sick at work, that’s not setting an example,” he tells SmartCompany.

“You actually have to say things. A senior manager who has people reporting to them has to verbalise and raise the sick leave issue.”

Wurth does, however, note absenteeism — workers taking sick leave when they’re not unwell — is also a problem.

But, acknowledging both problems present challenges for workers and business owners alike, he says businesses not being proactive about tackling the issues aren’t doing themselves any favours.

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