They may not have taken any vows, but today’s workers certainly appear to be committed to their jobs — perhaps overly so. Eighty percent of employees polled said they frequently show up to work while sick. A mere 8 percent of respondents said they never come into the office when feeling under the weather.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on responses from 594 men and women 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Survey respondents were asked, “How frequently do you go into work when you’re feeling sick?” Their responses:

  • Very frequently 49%
  • Somewhat frequently 31%
  • Somewhat infrequently 12%
  • Not at all 8%
  • Managers acknowledge that ailing employees often come into the office, but the practice may be more common than many realize. In a separate poll of 150 senior executives — including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments — just 21 percent of respondents said they thought sick employees came into work very frequently when ill.

    Executives were asked, “How often do you think employees come to work when they feel sick?”

    Their responses:

  • Very frequently 21%
  • Somewhat frequently 51%
  • Somewhat infrequently 25%
  • Don’t know/no answer 3%
  • “Many employees fear they’ll fall behind if they stay at home when they’re not feeling well,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “However, it’s preferable to take a day or two to recuperate rather than risk exacerbating a condition or passing an illness on to coworkers.”

    With greater flu concerns this year, many companies are actively encouraging sick employees to stay home. “Managers should let employees know that staying away from the office is the right thing to do when they are ill. Actions often speak louder than words — if supervisors show up when they’re feeling poorly, employees may feel pressure to do the same.”