Showing up to your workplace sick isn’t good for anyone, yet people do it anyway. Obviously, the sick person would rather stay home to heal and feel better (nobody plans on getting their peers ill). Why is it then that we all go to work when we should stay at home? A major factor in people’s thinking is based on corporate policy and workplace culture – both things we can change. Some companies already provide unlimited vacation days to address this. If you’re sick, try to stay home; and if you’re not sick try to change your corporate policies or practices.
Sometimes, of course, it’s due to a martyr complex—the feeling that work cannot possibly go on without them, or a notion that they’ll get points for dragging themselves into work while sick.
If you don’t want people coming to work sick, don’t financially penalize them for staying home. When it’s a choice between paying the rent or staying home when they’re ill, most people will come to work, contagious or not.
Of course biking and other physical activity is a healthy thing, and that’s obviously good. What’s really good now is that there are now economic reasons for employers to encourage their employees to commute on a bicycle. The Dutch (no surprise there) love their bikes so much they did an economic study on how much money can be saved by companies that have employees bike to work: 27 million Euros (PDF link).
• Employees who cycle regularly to work have less sickness-related
absenteeism than non-cyclists.
• The higher the frequency and longer the distance cycled, the lower the
rate of absenteeism.
• The potential benefit of cycling to work is considerable. It could mean
annual savings of around 27 million euros.
• More government measures to promote cycling and cooperation with
organizations that currently promote cycling can help convince employers
to begin or increase investments in a cycling policy.
• To develop successful programmes that promote cycling to work, more
understanding is needed of what actually convinces employees to use a
bicycle in their daily travel to work.