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Staples survey: Eight-in-10 workers sick with the flu still come to work

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Nearly 80% of office workers polled come to work even when they know they are sick — an increase of 20% over last year — according to the third annual "Flu Season Survey" from Staples. 

Survey results also show that employees could do more to keep the workplace healthy: half of office workers don’t clean their workspaces regularly and are unaware of the dirtiest surfaces in the office. As many as 51% of employees only clean their desks once a week or less, even though germs can live on surfaces like the keyboard for up to three days. And 25% believe that door knobs/handles are the dirtiest places in the office, while only 6% recognize that the break room sink is actually the dirtiest, followed by the office microwave, which only 8% selected.

For those who stay home, more than two-thirds return to work when they are still contagious. Survey findings also revealed that nearly half of workers cited their concern about completing work as the reason they don’t stay home sick. More than a quarter of respondents come to work to avoid using a sick day, even though a majority of those surveyed indicated their average productivity level while sick was only around 50%.

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