Presenteeism: Why is no-one to work sick should drag

Most of the workers have done it at least once already: in Spite of a running nose, a cough or a headache, you have to force yourself to go to work – whether out of a sense of duty or out of fear of sinking in the View of the chief.

This phenomenon experts refer to as presenteeism.

Presenteeism: one in five goes to work sick

The representative survey desAOK-false time reports, to 2018, clearly shows how strong this behavior is widely used. With 21.1 percent, more than one in five Respondents went against the advice of a physician in the last year to work.

This is the basic idea, to want his work, not neglect, may be commendable, but brings no real benefits.

After all, who beat up to work dragging, which is not only less powerful, but is probably also colleagues.

Also, there is no reason to for a disease conditional Missing justify, or to have a guilty Conscience.

Increased risk for chronic diseases

Normally, your health should always be in the foreground and a priority. But many workers see it differently and that can definitely have negative consequences.

A health study by the consulting firm Booz & Company has shown that presenteeism is conducive to the development of chronic diseases.

Logical: Who doesn’t cured the common cold properly, you must expect that you will return again and again.

In protracted infections can drag in the worst case, a lung or even a heart muscle inflammation of the. Therefore, symptoms should always be taken seriously and in case of doubt, a doctor evaluated.

Image gallery: 25 tips to avoid a cold

Presenteeism does not pay

By the way, presenteeism is profitable even for the company: It costs the employer according to the study, twice as much as sickness absenteeism. This has several reasons:

  • Often the employees in their performance are significantly limited and unproductive.
  • This results in a lower result quality, frequent errors, and even more accidents in the workplace.
  • Only rarely a similar amount of work can be handled as usual.
  • It can even happen that a worker leaves due to frequent presenteeism earlier from the world of work.

The German economy loses by workers who go to work in spite of illness, roughly one-tenth of the gross domestic product (GDP).

With a GDP of rounded to 3.3 trillion euros (2018) is the damage caused by presenteeism to 330 billion Euro.

Expert advice: In case of fever rather stay in bed

But when one is so ill that you stay at home, and the bed should be wary of?

The General practitioner Jens Wagenknecht gives exact instructions: “Basically, the following applies: In case of fever reactions, we are able to provide our services in the usual way”, explains the physician.

The answer to the question of whether one is ever fit enough for the work, you get Up in the morning after automatically delivered quickly.

“Who gets to Stand up or when trying to get dressed, sweats or are generally unnatural, and without occasion sweats a lot, knows with certainty that he is not able to the working day through to the end.“

Light work in the fresh air

You decide, nevertheless, to go to work, should there be a strong physical effort can be avoided.

“Also, the increased intake of fluid and salt is essential, of course, so the cold is not further strengthened“, says the expert.

Whether it’s struggling to work or not, should be made by the work – because not every environment is suitable for a cold equally well.

“Wet-cold rooms cold symptoms are always more bearable than a warm, dry space,“ says Wagenknecht. “In this cough we have more, since the nose is clogged and you have to try to moisten the mucous membranes caused by humidity and cold air.“

Light work in the fresh air is suitable for colds the best. “I think anyone who has to do his job out there, with a cold better than a Person in the office.“

People with office jobs should, therefore, waive the presenteeism, and instead prefer to stay in bed or wrapped up warm for a quiet walk in the fresh air.


  • booz&co (2011): the advantage of Provisioning the role of The occupational health provision for the future viability of Germany as an industrial location, archived from the original on 06.11.2019
  • AOK-Bundesverband and Scientific Institute of the AOK (2018): absenteeism-Report to 2018 meaning of life in the profession has a high impact on the health, retrieved on 11.11.2019

Cornelia Bertram

*The contribution of “presenteeism: Why is no one dragging sick to work should be” published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.