Why it's OK to take a sick day - and experts recommend two

Taking two days off work when you have a cold reduces the chance of your colleagues catching it by half, suggesting soldiering on is worse for everyone in the long run

In these workaholic times, we often feel that taking a sick day, even when we've come down with a really rotten cold, just isn't fair on our workmates. But experts have found that staying home for just two days lowers the risk of our colleagues catching the lurgy by almost half.

So while it can sometimes feel that the entire company could well fall apart in your absence, taking the odd sick day would actually make your team a whole lot more productive.

Researchers in the US found that staying home for one day when you're poorly, reduces the chance of your colleagues falling sick by 25 per cent. And staying away for two gives them a 40 per cent lower risk - something they're bound to thank you for when you return in full health.

Though some of us really are that addicted to our desks, many people fear not being paid if they take the day off sick and the researchers hope that their findings will encourage employers to see the benefits of encouraging workers to stay home, if there's a chance they'll spread illness around the office.

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Epidemiologist Dr Supriya Kumar, who worked on the study, said: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with flu stay home for 24 hours after their fever breaks. However, not everyone is able to follow these guidelines.

"Our simulations show allowing all workers access to paid sick days would reduce illness because fewer workers get the flu over the course of the season if employees are able to stay home and keep the virus from being transmitted to their co-workers."

It sounds like a good case for staying home to us, particularly when you think about how many communal areas there are in modern workpaces and how many opportunities for viruses such as flu to spread.

For more info, check out the Government's guide to sick leave and your entitlements.

Feeling a bit peaky? Try our 10 tips to sort your health out today: