Friday, August 15, 2014

Sick? No problem.. I'll come to work

It’s time for us to perhaps learn a thing or two on commitment from South African workers.

According to a Pharma Dynamics survey unveiled on Tuesday, a staggering 80% of South Africans would dutifully turn up for work even if they are struggling with a cold or flu.

“South Africans won't let a cold or flu get the better of them with eight in 10 determined to go to work even though they're as sick as a dog,” said spokeswoman Mariska van Aswegen.

Dubbed as “presenteeism”, 48% of respondents claimed “they just can't afford to take a day off work due to mounting workloads”, 33% said “they're just too essential to the business operation”.

Tellingly, 12% “go into work sick hoping they'll be sent home by the boss”.

Other reasons attributed included 17% of respondents claiming their firm discouraged them from utilising sick leave, or that they got punished for doing so, while 11% added they worried over losing their jobs if they took time off to recuperate.

Van Aswegen claimed that “presenteeism” usually paved the way for lower-than-normal productivity levels.

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

She added that “presenteeism” was due to “the prolonged economic stagnation”.

“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,” said Van Aswegen.

Nevertheless, the risk of spreading viruses and causing others to fall ill rose noticeably with sick workers lurking around the workplace.

“The working sick leave behind a trail of germs on shared surfaces like stair rails, door handles, water coolers, communal fridges, counters and light switches, putting others' health in jeopardy,” said van Aswegen.

Nevertheless, the study revealed that 38% of respondents did not adopt precautionary measures, such as utilising hand sanitisers, disinfectant wipes and soap.

The colds and flu medicine provider conducted the online survey by quizzing 1978 adult working men and women countrywide, between the ages of 18 and 55.

This was done between June and July 2014 this year.