July 10, 2009

Doctor advises: Don’t go to work sick

Coming to work while sick hurts job performance and spreads disease, U.S. researchers said Friday.

Dr. Mary Capelli-Schellpfeffer, medical director of the Loyola University Health System Occupational Health Services in Maywood, Ill., said coming to work sick is more of a hindrance than a help because a communicable illness can spread through an entire work force. Illness can still be spread by people who wash their hands and take over-the-counter medicines, Capelli-Schellpfeffer said.

Productivity, creativity and even financial stability can be affected when a worker is sick, she added. The person who is sick, along with coworkers, end up focusing on the illness instead of the job, Capelli-Schellpfeffer said in the release.

Customers get a negative impression when they deal with a worker who is coughing or sneezing.

Capelli-Schellpfeffer advised employees not to be afraid they will lose their jobs if they call in sick, but to speak in advance to managers and work out ways to work from home or stay in contact.