A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has found a surprising and disturbing trend with the recession. They say that there is a culture of “presenteeism” sweeping across Britain, as workers fear losing their jobs if they take time off to deal with illnesses.
The average number of sick days taken by workers – both in the public and private sectors – has dropped to 6.8 days this year from the 7.8 days it was, on average, before now.
The report looked at 670 bosses in Britain. 50% of the bosses polled for the report said that they do look at the sick leave list when deciding where to make cuts.
Professor Cary Cooper, an organizational psychologist from the Lancaster University Management School, has said that these results are very worrying. Having done his own poll of 39,000 workers, he found that almost 30% have suffered from “sickness presenteeism.”
Obviously, coming into work when sick can have negative consequences for the workers and the office. It can cause others to become sick and spread illness. It also means that workers will be less effective than usual and could make “costly mistakes.” It also takes people longer to recover from illness when they don’t take the time off to do so.