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Bradford and Coventry top cities for presenteeism

Marketing and healthcare were found to be the sectors most suffering from presenteeism

Workers from Bradford and Coventry are the most likely to go to work with an infectious illness, according to survey findings from PushDoctor.co.uk.

Published in the Digital Healthcare Review, the research found that every person surveyed from Coventry and Bradford would still go to work if they had an infectious disease. Birmingham (95%), Sheffield (90%), and Edinburgh (90%) also reported high instances of presenteeism.

The lowest reported scores were both in Scotland; with only 57% of those in Aberdeen and 70% of those based in Glasgow willing to risk spreading their sickness to colleagues.

When it comes to sectors, every respondent working in marketing said they would go to work while unwell, compared with less than three-quarters (74%) of staff in the healthcare industry.

More than one in five (22%) workers said their boss would prefer them to be at work if they had an infectious illness, as long as it was not serious. However, one in five (21%) employees feel uncomfortable being around colleagues who are infectious.

The illnesses workers are most likely to go into work with are coughs and colds (59%), tonsillitis or sinusitis (33%), throat infections or strep throat (32%), flu (22%) and the norovirus (15%).

Adam Simon, chief medical officer at PushDoctor.co.uk, warned that coming into work while sick could slow the recovery process. “When you are ill your body needs to dedicate a lot of energy to fighting the infection or virus – and if workers are having to make their way to the office and perform to their usual levels that means there is less energy available to aid recovery,” he said. “As such, quite often when sick people are given the time to recover they will do so faster, allowing them to return to focusing 100% of their energies on their work.

“Being pressured to recover in the office also means there is a greater chance of the illness being spread among the workforce, which can be disastrous for company-wide productivity,” he added.