Majority of Americans go to work sick

Oct 24, 2019, 2:34 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 9:00 am
working from home...
A new survey from getAbstract reflects ongoing predictions that the workplace may never look the same after the pandemic -- making it "almost impossible" to return to what is was before.  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — You probably know that the flu and other viruses spread through the workplace because people come to work sick. But a new survey shows just how many people are powering through illness and heading to the workplace.

Research from Accountemps, a Robert Half company, found that 9 out of 10 people go to work sick.

You read that right. Ninety percent of American workers have gone to work when feeling sick.

The survey included responses from 2,800 people over age 18 employed in office environments in 28 American cities.

As to why they went to work sick, most respondents said they had too much work to do to call in sick. The other most popular reason was that employees did not want to use their sick time.

And you may be able to power through your cold or flu symptoms at work, but an educator with the Utah Department of Health says those employees you work with, may not be so strong.

“If you are contagious,” Rebecca Ward told KSL Newsradio, “especially with something like the influenza virus, and you come to work sick, that’s not going to help the situation and you are possibly going to spread it to other people.”

Those other people may have an even worse reaction to the cold or flu virus than you had.

“The concern though is obviously making other people sick is a high likelihood anytime you go to work when you are feeling under the weather,” said Dr Nick Duncan, a family practice doctor at Intermountain Cottonwood Family Practice.

And it may feel empowering to plow through your workload even if you have a cold or the flu, but that can prolong the time it takes for you to get better.

Ward says that if you have cold or flu symptoms and feel good enough to work, one alternative is to work from home if your employer allows it.

Alternatively, Dr Duncan urges you to stay home and rest until your symptoms have dissipated.

“It’s good to say, I’m going to stay home and take care of myself, and try to rest and relax. Often times if people overdo it when they are sick, it’s just going to take longer to get better,” he said.

And then when you are back to feeling 100%, have plenty of hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes around the office.

(Simone Seikaly contributed to this story.)

Today’s Top Stories


air conditioner...
Carlos Artiles

What if your air conditioner breaks down during the summer months?

If your air conditioner breaks down during the summer, you could be on a wait list of a few weeks before it could be fixed or replaced.
1 day ago
A glass door reads Intermountain Transformation Center. intermittent fasting study just came out...
Martha Harris

Those who practice intermittent fasting less likely to have severe COVID complications, according to Intermountain study

The principal investigator of the study said the findings about intermittent fasting should not cause people to begin extreme fasts.
1 day ago
The Great Salt Lake has reached a historic low level of water....
Waverly Golden

The Great Salt Lake water level reaches a historic low as Utah continues to face extreme drought

Utah is in an extreme drought, causing the Great Salt Lake to reach a historic low level. Over the past 128 years, 2022 has been the driest year to date in Utah.
2 days ago
Rabies in bats....
Waverly Golden

Utah health officials confirm three cases of rabies in bats

Three cases of rabies in bats have been confirmed in Utah. In each case, pets or humans were exposed and received treatment.
7 days ago
A Rite Aid logo is displayed on its store...

Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Retailers limiting purchases is standard practice that helps retailers prevent stockpiling and reselling at higher prices.
7 days ago
CDC reports monkeypox cases....
Waverly Golden

CDC confirms five monkeypox cases in Utah

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, confirmed a total of five monkeypox cases in Utah Wednesday morning.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Majority of Americans go to work sick