Staples Annual Flu Survey Reveals More Managers Encouraging Sick
Employees to Stay Home
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 15, 2014--
For the first time in five years, the number of employees that said they
go to work with flu has dropped to 60 percent, after four straight years
of increases, according to the fifth annual Flu Season Survey from Staples,
a leading provider of supplies that help keep offices healthy.
While this is a drop from last year, many employees still feel they
can’t take a sick day. Despite 88 percent of managers encouraging sick
employees to stay at home, 40 percent feel there is too much going on at
work to stay away, and 31 percent show up sick because they think their
boss appreciates it. There are a number of factors that have contributed
to the drop in employees going to work sick:
Sick employees coming into work considered worse for office
productivity than a security breach – Both employees and employers
recognize the detrimental impact that coming to work sick has on
workplace productivity. In fact, more than one-quarter of employees
(27 percent) think that coming to work sick is worse for office
productivity than a security breach, natural disaster or
Presenteeism recognized as a bigger problem than absenteeism – More
respondents think that presenteeism, i.e., people going into the
office when sick but not fully functioning, is a bigger problem than
people being absent from work due to illness. This isn’t surprising
considering that more than a third of respondents (36 percent) say
that their personal productivity is less than 50 percent of their
usual level when they show up with the flu.
Employees are taking charge of their own health and wellness
–The survey shows that even as the availability of flu vaccinations in
the workplace is on the rise, employees are taking more responsibility
for their personal health during flu season. In fact, 70 percent of
respondents have some involvement in cleaning their work spaces. This
provides employers with the opportunity to promote workplace wellness
in simple, inexpensive ways, such as providing cleaning supplies so
employees can keep their personal workspace clean.
Recent virus outbreaks are affecting behavior –Recent virus
outbreaks are affecting behavior, as the majority of employees (53
percent) said they will take extra precautions to protect themselves
against the flu and other illness this winter.
“While we are encouraged that for the first time in five years the
number of sick employees coming into work has dropped, 60 percent is
still a significant number,” said Chris Correnti, Vice President of
Staples Facility Solutions at Staples Advantage, the
business-to-business division of Staples. “Clearly there is still much
work to be done. Recent outbreaks such as Enterovirus in the U.S.
underscore the importance of fostering a culture of workplace wellness. ”
About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Redshift Research among 1500 U.S. Office
workers. All were working full-time and spend at least 50 percent of
their time working in an office environment. Seven hundred four were
managers and the remaining 796 were general office workers. Results of
any sample are subject to sampling variation.
Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more
ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery
capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they
want, whether it’s in-store, online, on mobile devices, or through the
company’s innovative buy online, pick-up in store option. Staples offers
more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom
supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and
Print services. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates
throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New
Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.
About Staples Advantage
Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.
(Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the
Fortune 1000, helping them make more happen with more products, greater
cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies. Staples Advantage
provides its customers, including global businesses, local, state and
federal government, healthcare organizations and educational
institutions, with a one source solution featuring comprehensive
products and services like office supplies, technology, printing,
promotional products, furniture and facility supplies, along with a
customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service.
More information is available at www.staplesadvantage.com.
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Shweta Agarwal, 508-253-8249