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Four in Ten Kiwi Workers turn up to work while sick

NZ Herald article - 14 July 2018

If you turned up to work today feeling under the weather you are not alone. Global research by insurer Cigna has revealed four out of 10 workers in New Zealand comes to work when they are sick despite admitting they are nowhere near as productive.

While Kiwis are more likely to take time off work when they are unwell than workers in other developed countries those who do, admit their productivity can be down by between 10 and 50 per cent.
Mel MacPhee, head of human resources at Cigna New Zealand said while 40 per cent was not as bad as the global average of 70 per cent it was "not a great figure.

"It does have quite a drain on workplace productivity."
MacPhee said there were a number of reasons why people still showed up when sick.
He said staff work often sick out of a feeling of obligation to their employer, worries about job security or because they don't want to let their colleagues down.

However, workers who did make a sniffly appearance admitted they were not giving it their best. McPhee said it was a case of the worker saying: "I've showed up to work but really I can't focus, I can't function, I am here in body but not necessarily engaged or focused."

MacPhee said employers could encourage staff to stay away by role-modelling it themselves, encourage sick staff to go home or providing flexible work so that staff were set up to work from home if they felt well enough to do so.

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