Americans Are Scared to Take Sick Days While Working from Home Amid Pandemic, Survey Finds

Sixty-six percent of Americans working from home believe taking sick days for anything less severe than COVID-19 would be looked down upon by their employer, according to new research.

Moreover, three out of four said that since getting co-workers sick is off the table, the bar for symptom severity warranting taking time off has been raised.

And 67 percent reported that, for the same reason, they are much less inclined to take off from work when they are sick.

In fact, seven in 10 have worked while they were ill since beginning to work from home.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ColdCalm, the study also examined the circumstances under which respondents would actually take time off for sickness now that they perform their job duties from the comfort of their homes.

The survey of 2,000 Americans working from home assessed the symptoms respondents felt would qualify them to take time off in the age of remote work.

For 63 percent, a sore throat alone simply wouldn’t cut it — they would need to actually lose their voice before they felt justified taking time off.

Results also revealed that sometimes remote employees have been so desperate for illness-related respite that they have taken undocumented time off, and hoped it went unnoticed.

Half of the respondents have taken time off due to sickness since beginning to work remotely — without mentioning it to their employer.

Fifty-five percent said they would need a confirmed diagnosis from their doctor, and/or documentation, in order to feel comfortable taking time off from work this season.

The COVID-19 crisis has clearly impacted how remote employees view sick days, as well.

Nearly half of respondents believe COVID has made other illnesses look “minor” in comparison.

Forty-five percent, in addition, said the pandemic has made them more vigilant about avoiding illness, and 72 percent are more likely to employ the assistance of medication at the first signs of symptoms.

Moreover, one in five said the pandemic has made them more likely to attempt to curtail the length and/or severity of any illness they contract.

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