Why do ill people still come in to work? - Deepstash
Coming To Work While Sick
  • Many workers don’t want to take an off even if they are unwell, due to the fear of judgement and a general distrusting attitude from their bosses.
  • There is a stigma around taking an off day, with 40 percent of workers lying to their managers the real reason for not showing up at work.
  • Presenteeism has increased three-fold over the past decade, while absenteeism due to sickness has halved in the last twenty years.


Certain kinds of sickness, like the flu, can become problematic due to their contagious nature, yet many employees feel they should attend office. Mental health-related issues are not considered good enough reasons to stay at home, as they appear invisible or intangible.

With companies striving for maximum productivity, and the gig economy making jobs fleeting and project-based, most workers don’t want to be left behind and are holding tighter to their jobs.


Many employers show deep distrust and create a toxic, fear-based environment for the workforce by not allowing people to take sick days or not showing support and understanding for those who are suffering from illnesses.

Employees should communicate with the manager as soon as possible, allowing them to plan the day’s work. Being honest is the best policy to avoid any misunderstanding, with lying or exaggerating being the worst mistakes.


  • The first kind of managers are having the industrial age ‘productivity’ mindset, and believe that workers are not willing to work by default and need to be trapped in rules and regulations. Sick leaves are perceived as an excuse not to work.
  • The second kind of managers trust their employees and see them as responsible adults. They empower their workforce to take time off when needed, even encouraging them to go offline completely and focus on rest.

A good manager has to be understanding and empathetic, building a bond with the employees through genuine care.


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