Nearly 9 in 10 Employees in Canada Come to Work Sick, Survey Shows

More than one-quarter of professionals always go to the office with cold or flu symptoms

Toronto, ON — Are coworkers literally making each other sick? In new research from global staffing firm Accountemps, 89 per cent of professionals in Canada admitted they’ve at least sometimes come to the office with cold or flu symptoms. Of those respondents, 27 per cent always go to work even when they’re under the weather.

More than half of those who report to the office with the cold or flu (54 per cent) do so because they have too much work to do; another 33 per cent don’t want to use a sick day.

View an infographic about being sick at work.

“Workers often worry about falling behind by taking a sick day, but that mentality may be doing more harm than good,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps, a division of Robert Half. “A healthy workplace is a happier, and ultimately more productive, environment. Taking the time to stay home and get better is not only good for your own wellbeing, it also shows consideration for your colleagues, your quality of work, and the overall success of your team.”

“It’s up to managers set the example by steering clear of the office when under the weather, and ensuring their teams follow suit,” added Vasilopoulos. “Maintain open lines of communication to better recognize when employees are ill and provide solutions for managing sick days ― like remote work options or bringing in temporary help ― so workers feel supported and encouraged to get healthy.”

For more advice on dealing with the cold and flu in the office, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research

The online survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from 510 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at