Scots falling ill as co-workers refuse to stay at home

How many sickness habits are you guilty of?
How many sickness habits are you guilty of?

Six out of ten full time workers in Scotland (61.23%) have become ill in the last year because of co-workers who refused to stay at home, a rise from just one in seven (14.30%) who blamed unwell colleagues for their illnesses last year, the annual Fisherman’s Friend Cold and Flu survey reveals today.

On average, workers in the country said they could attribute two bouts of illness to co-workers who they felt should have stayed at home, while three quarters (74.72%) admitted heading into work when they should have taken time off.

While most Scots fell foul of contagious colleagues just once or twice (60.55%), the annual report from the iconic lozenge maker found one in seven (15%) attributed four or more bouts of illness to unwell team mates.

Across the UK, workers in the environmental and agricultural sector were found to be most likely to blame sick colleagues for their ailments, on average being made unwell by colleagues at least three times. By contrast, those in the media and internet sectors appeared to be more considerate when it comes to spreading germs, with workers on average reporting just 1.22 spells of sickness caused by colleagues.

The study found that female workers were more likely to report illness due to a co-worker, with seven in ten (71.58%) females asked saying that they had fallen ill because of a co-worker in the last year, compared with six in ten (60.37%) male workers.

Workers in East Anglia were most likely to fall ill because of colleagues, with one in seven attributing at least one bout of sickness to a co-worker (72.22%), while the six in 10 in Yorkshire & Humberside who blamed a colleague for an illness make it the region least likely to spread ailments in the office.

“Making up the second part of our annual Cold and Flu Survey, our new findings come hot on the heels of data showing that concerns over job security and not wanting to let colleagues down are making workers struggle on even when ill. It’s logical, therefore, that we have also found a striking increase in workers attributing the spread of coughs and colds to each other,” comments Fisherman’s Friend spokesperson Rob Metcalfe.

“However, if we are determined to battle on regardless through bouts of cold and flu then it’s important people manage their symptoms effectively to avoid spreading illnesses further.”