Employees work from home more often despite illness

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According to a study, employees work from home more often even though they are ill. © Christin Klose/dpa Topic Service/dpa-tmn

Sure, if you’re sick, it’s best to stay at home. But how do employees behave in the home office? According to a study, they still get the job done. The researchers also give a reason for this.

According to a study, employees in the corona pandemic are increasingly inclined to sit down at the computer in their home office despite being ill. According to a study by the Kühne Logistics University (KLU) in Hamburg and the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, there is a reverse trend among employees who have to drive to the office for work.

According to the study, the feared feelings of guilt are too great should an infection with the corona virus occur in the office to make the journey to the company. On the other hand, it is completely different in your own four walls: “If employees “only” relax at home and cannot be reached, many fear feeling guilty towards the team. That’s why some decide to do at least some work,” said KLU Professor of Human Resource Management, Prisca Brosi. The results also showed that the decision to work was independent of the severity of the disease.

guilt and harm to health

However, the employees overlook the consequences. “If I keep working instead of recovering, I can also feel guilty about myself,” said WHU Professor of Human Resources Management, Fabiola H. Gerpott. On the one hand, employees who are sick often do not work productively. “On the other hand, they feel that their decision is damaging to their own health.”

According to the information, three examinations in the pre-Corona year 2019 and in July and August 2020 with a total of around 650 participants were carried out and compared for the study.

The researchers also see employers as having an obligation on this issue. “Companies should clearly state in advance that employees with this behavior are damaging their own health and cannot work productively,” emphasized Brosi. It is not enough to simply ask employees to stay at home if they are ill. “You also have to reflect on the negative consequences of deciding to work anyway,” said Brosi. dpa


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