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    Nearly 8m workers would enter the office with Covid symptoms

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    New research from Direct Line Life Insurance reveals that 7.7 million workers (27%) would continue to travel into the office even if they have either a high temperature or a cough – two of the major symptoms of Coronavirus.

    Aside from Coronavirus symptoms, 2.9 million workers (10%) admit they would continue to travel into the office if they felt unwell in general. As we head into cold and flu season, the common symptoms workers feel aren’t deserving of working from home or a sick day are a runny nose (80%), a headache (76%), achy limbs (75%) and a sore throat (66%). Almost half of workers (47%) said that they would still travel into work even if they were suffering from sickness or diarrhoea.

    Major symptoms people would most likely travel to work with
    Runny nose – 80%
    Headache – 80%
    Aching limbs – 75%
    Sore throat – 66%
    Sickness and/or diarrhoea – 47%
    High Temperature – 35%

    But it seems workplaces disagree and the pandemic may be killing off presenteeism, as working from home has become more standard practice. The overwhelming majority (93%) of HR managers say they would encourage their staff to work from home if they were ill.

    With two thirds (66%) of HR managers reporting their workplaces were open by December, it seems many are keen to avoid coughs and colds spreading, as well as any risk of COVID-19.

    However, it seems many HR managers are not betting on the pandemic having a long-term impact on working patterns. While one in five (20%) HR managers think that COVID-19 will have a permanent impact on the way people work in the UK, over half (53%) believe work will eventually return to the way it was pre-pandemic.

    Vincent Guadagnino, Communications Manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, commented: “Over the past few months we’ve seen lots of people across the country return to their place of work in one form or another. Even though there has been more of a focus on cleanliness and disease prevention over the past 18 months, it looks like many people are still willing to travel to the workplace unwell, even if they have one or more COVID-19 symptoms. It seems that HR Professionals are keen to be cautious, especially this winter, and will be encouraging anyone feeling unwell to stay home.”



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    Lisa Carter

    All stories by: Lisa Carter