Almost every second German is working despite illness

Sick to work: Admirable sense of responsibility or just a big mistake?

There are many people who, for a variety of reasons, go to their workplace. A representative survey now attempted to clarify how many Germans are going to work with a disease from time to time. The results were clear: 46 per cent of the respondents reported that they had not been consistently at home during the past twelve months, although they suffered from a disease or at least felt sick.

The market research company GfK has now conducted a survey which should clarify whether people in Germany are often ill to their work. The experts were able to conclude that despite a disease to go to work unfortunately is quite widespread. In the past twelve months, 46 percent of people surveyed did not always go to the doctor if they were to stay at home because of a disease. In addition, it was found that being ill with work is more common among women than with men. Of the women surveyed, about 50 per cent went ill to work. Among the participating men, the quota was slightly lower, 43%.

When people go to work for their health, they not only endanger their own health and those of their fellow human beings but also increase the costs for the affected company.(Picture: Klaus Eppele /

Survey includes 600 participants

The well-known market research company GfK interviewed around 600 professional people at the beginning of August. The survey dealt with the issue of whether or not people are sick at their workplace. The results clearly show that many occupations go to work, even if, from the medical point of view, a disease is actually present, which should be better than at home. The experts were also interested in how many days the respondents had gone to work in the past twelve months, even though they were actually sick.

How often were the respondents sick in their work in a year?

The results of the survey show that about a third of the participating people did not feel sick in the past year. But there were also enough people, who had gone to their work several times ill. One in ten participants of the survey went to work for one to three days. There were another ten per cent of people who went to their work four or five days a year.13 per cent of the interviewees went to their workplace despite a sickness on six to ten days. Another 12 per cent of people in the survey also indicated that they had gone to work for more than ten days, despite a sickness.

Every fifth participant was always exemplary at home when he was ill

Last but not least, it is also interesting to know how many people remained consistently at home when they felt they were sick. According to the news agency dpa, the researchers found that about one in five respondents always remained at home in an illness.

When people get sick to their work, this damages the company considerably

When people go to work ill, this can lead to negative health effects for the affected person himself and also for the rest of the workforce. In other words, sick employees harm their company considerably, even if they actually want to do their work dutifully despite their illness.

A few years ago, another study had shown that sick employees at the workplace cost twice as much as employees who stay at home in a disease. For people who go to work ill make statistically verifiable more mistakes and in addition they only a reduced work performance. In addition, colleagues may also be hired, who then fail at work and incur further costs for the company. When people go to work sick, their risk of suffering from a burnout syndrome at a later date also increases. The proper treatment of a disease and the subsequent recovery is very important for workers and their colleagues.(as)

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