Catering professionals feel too ‘guilty’ to call in sick

04/02/2019 - 10:14
Coinciding with National Sickie Day today (4 February), new research has found that catering professionals feel ‘too guilty’ to take sick days despite being ‘genuinely’ ill.

Key findings reveal that 74% of industry workers take just one or two sick days a year; with just 13% having ‘pulled a sickie’ in the past year.

While 49% admitted to feeling too guilty to take time off when they’re genuinely ill, 58% said the main reason is because they don’t want to leave their team in the lurch.

Other reasons include: they believe it reflects badly on them; their boss is not very understanding (15%); and calling in sick is frowned upon in their workplace (11%).

Lee Biggins, founder and chief executive of CV-Library, who conducted the study said: “We’re all guilty of overworking ourselves, especially if we’re trying to make a great impression.

“But the truth is, going into work when you’re not feeling well is counterproductive. When we’re unwell we find it hard to be alert and it can be difficult to focus.

“What’s more, depending on the nature of your illness, you could pass it on to other members of the team and cause it to spread. Plus, bacteria and germs are a much bigger hazard when working in the catering industry.

“Therefore, it’s best to take time out to look after your mental and physical health, so you can return to work feeling fresh and productive.”

For those who feel guilty or have an employer that makes them feel bad for taking sick day, CV-Library suggests: 

  • Speak to your manager: try speaking to them about your situation, together you might be able to come to an arrangement to suit both parties.
  • Create work-life balance: If being overworked is affecting your health, try to create a better work-life balance. Don’t take too many extra shifts or stay late every day.
  • Practise self-care: Take time for yourself before/after work and on your weekends. Do something you enjoy or that helps you unwind. Exercise can be a great way to de-stress and boost your mood.
  • Find a new company: If your boss/ existing company aren’t able to help, it might be time to search for jobs elsewhere. Look for an employer that offers flexible working or mental health days, and a culture that promotes work-life balance.

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