Brits Don’t Feel Comfortable Taking Time off Sick

prevent worker burnoutEvery worker understands the responsibility that comes with committing to their job role. Dedication, punctuality, and drive are qualities that all businesses should be looking for in their employees.

While it is important for them to stay committed to the work at hand, it’s equally as important for employees to take time off on occasion. By doing so, they help to prevent burnout and recover from illnesses that can impact performance.

A recent survey conducted by has revealed that more than a third of working Brits are hesitant about approaching their boss for time off when they are feeling under the weather. This concerning trend was also common in regards to holidays, as the survey found that one in five workers hate asking for annual leave.

The Impact of Workers Not Taking Time Off

British workers are not only hesitant to ask for time off, many are actually turning up to work in ill health. A third of British companies have reported increasing numbers of employees turning up to work sick in the past twelve months.

By turning up to work with a severe illness, employees are actually being counter-productive as being in a poor state of health will almost always result in a reduced level of efficiency. It is entirely possible that workers who turn up to work despite being ill, in an attempt to be reliable and productive employees, can actually hurt their workplace with an increased likelihood of mistakes that can cost both time and reputation.

In extreme cases, severe illnesses can lead to impaired judgment and focus, which can result in potentially dangerous accidents that could be easily avoided. To prevent these circumstances, employers should encourage their workers to be responsible and take time off when is necessary.

The impact of ‘presenteeism’, the act of going to work despite being genuinely sick, will have a wider impact than just on the individual. There is an increased likelihood of germs spreading which, as a result, could impact the health and performance of other workers too.

Why Employees Aren’t Taking Time Off

For many workers across the UK, there is a growing lack of appreciation for their work, as 25% of employees have stated they don’t feel valued.

This could be a crucial influence in increasing levels of presenteeism, as employees are denying themselves the time necessary to get better to prove that they are dedicated to their work and can be relied upon.

The survey also revealed that whilst 15% of workers feel they are far too busy at work, a third of them feel uncomfortable about asking for help.

With the mounting pressure of daily responsibilities, it is evident there is a growing trend of employees refusing to take a prolonged rest from work as well as asking for help when needed. In the long term, this will prove to be harmful to businesses as their employees push themselves too hard, resulting in decreased productivity.

What You Can Do to Prevent Burnout

As a manager, it is important for the sake of productivity and the well-being of your employees to cultivate a company culture where everyone is comfortable asking for what they need.

Set a positive example by taking your holidays as well as staying at home when you are sick. This will encourage employees to follow suit and feel confident that their need for time off will be understood.

As a worker, there are some things that you can do to help ease the burden of asking for time off, whether it is for holidays or when you are sick.

If you are especially conscious of asking for time off when sick, do everything in your power to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That way, you are less likely to fall ill throughout the year. On the occasion that you are sick, however, you shouldn’t feel as guilty about taking time off, as it would be a rare occurrence.

Another strategy you could implement to help ease the impact of your absence on your co-workers is to provide them with a plan on how to delegate work fairly to minimize added pressure on their part. That way, should you need to take time off work, there is a plan in place that everyone is aware of.

By taking time off when it is needed, you will prove to be a productive asset to your workplace than if you overwork yourself to burnout.

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