It's official: Today is National Sickie Day - so are you off work?

·4-min read
Cropped shot of an attractive young woman lying in bed and using her cellphone in the morning at home
"Shall I go with tummy bug or flu.." (Getty Images)

Are you slaving at your desk, staring down the barrel of a rainy dash to Pret at lunchtime? Or are you snuggled in your duvet, choosing what to watch on Netflix and perfecting your weakest voice in case the boss calls?

Read more: Feeling Run Down? Here’s Why You Should Still Take a Sick Day Even if You’re Working From Home

According to studies, February 7th - that's today - sees the highest number of workers call in sick, giving it the title National Sickie Day. A survey from instantprint has found some shockingly sly statistics, suggesting many of us are not averse to tweaking the truth for a day in bed.

Over half (56%) of Brits admit to “pulling a sickie” in the last year, with one in ten (9%) doing this regularly, and one in ten Brits (9%) admit that they call in sick on a regular basis, despite not being unwell.

Online consultation with doctor. Sick african man calling phone for medical help, suffering from cold and seasonal flu virus, empty space
"Yeah...better not. Might be infectious." (Getty Images)

If those workers alone decided to take National Sickie Day off, over 3.6 million workers could be off sick today.

But although some of us are bunking off work regularly, others are not so willing to call in sick, even if they're under the weather.

When quizzed on how their attitude towards calling in sick has changed since prior to the pandemic, more than a fifth (22%) of those surveyed stated that it would now “take a lot” for them to do so, even in the wake of the pandemic.

Watch: Why nearly 60% of Americans are terrified of calling in sick

A fifth (21%) shared they’re likely to call in sick less, only doing so for a serious illness such as Covid. Only a third (30%) of employees said they don’t feel any pressure around sitting down to work when sick since the Covid pandemic hit. (Presumably at home - because nobody's going to thank them for struggling into the office to share their germs.) In fact, a third (32%) of UK workers admitted they would be "angry with any colleagues who came to work whilst under the weather”.

Read more: UK employees doubled their sick days last year, but not for COVID

High angle shot of a young businessman feeling ill at his work desk
"I said I'd get this report finished and I will. Even if the whole office gets flu." (Getty Images)

A reckless 5% said it wouldn't bother them, but perhaps their jobs involve Hazmat suits.

Fifteen per cent of UK adults still believe there is more pressure on them to go into work even when unwell following the pandemic, with a further 17% stating that they believe that unless they’re suffering from Covid or equally serious illnesses, then there is likely to be pressure for them to not take time off to get better.

However, despite the dominance of the pandemic in work culture, strangely, COVID isn't the main reason given for sick days. Instead, 22% say they might have the flu (22%), "the sniffles" (18%) and headaches and migraines (12%) were the most common causes behind sick days taken by UK employees.

The top ailments cited when calling in "sick" over the last year are:

Flu (22%)

Cold/cough (18%)

Migraine (12%)

Mental health issues (11%)

Feeling sick (11%)

Feeling 'under the weather' (11%)

Physical injury (8%)

Need a sick day? Flu is a popular one. (Getty Images)
Need a sick day? Flu is a popular one. (Getty Images)

Read more: A Guide to Calling in Sick

However, when it comes to what we consider genuine and valid reasons for calling in sick, 64% voted for flu, 53% said the death of a family member - and 53% also cited Covid.

When it comes to the places happy to pull a sickie, 33% of workers in Belfast admitted they were happy to do so regularly, while both Southampton (19%) and London (14%) joined them as the UK cities most likely to pull a sickie regularly.

The hard workers of Norwich, Sheffield and Edinburgh, however, were least likely to fake illness for a day off - with at least half stating that they “would never do so”.

Watch: Prince Harry: I need to meditate every single day

 

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