Go Figure: ‘Tis the season for sharing…your cold and flu around the office

Break out the hand soap as we look at some sick stats about going viral at work.

Break out the hand soap as we look at some sick stats about going viral at work

B.C. workers were off sick for 2.3 million+ hours in 2018.

Including all reasons for absence, full-time workers missed an average of 10.3 days that year, up from 8.7 in 2014. 

Canadian workers with kids take 2x as many days off to see a doctor.

48 percent of incidental workplace absence in Canada is due to illness.

95 percent of doctors polled in a Canadian study of workplace absenteeism said they’ve been asked to provide a note to explain a patient’s absence from work.

5 percent believed such notes help manage absenteeism.

Looking at how colds and stomach bugs spread in an office, University of Arizona researchers found that it took 2-4 hours for germs to move from a communal coffee pot handle to a desk. 50 percent of commonly touched office surfaces were infected by lunchtime.

More than 8/10 Canadian employees say they have practised presenteeism—going to work when they feel unable to perform well—or been put at risk by co-workers doing so.

32 percent of Canadian employers vs. 58 percent of employees believe presenteeism is a serious issue for their workplace.

80 percent of common infections are spread by hands.

During the 2009-10 H1N1 “swine flu” epidemic, B.C. saw 1,050 hospitalizations and 57 deaths.

Portion of the population estimated to have been infected: 20-25 percent.

An estimated 4,000 British Columbians died in the 1918-19 flu pandemic. Comparative number for today’s population: 37,000.

In a recent provincial survey by Insights West for London Drugs:

83% of respondents said they know that flu shots save lives.

36% said they weren’t getting one this season.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Medisys, Morneau Shepell, Quartz, Vice, Ergonomics, University of Arizona, O.C. Tanner, Benefits Canada, International Working Group, BC Centre for Disease Control, Office of the Provincial Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health, Insights West