Survey: Most adults won't take off from work if they have a cold

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Americans won’t take off work for something as innocuous as a cold, a new survey released Wednesday found, a fact that underscores the need for ready access to over-the-counter cough-cold medicines and better hand-washing/sanitizing practices in the workplace.

The survey, sponsored by Cadbury Adams’ Halls cough drop brand, found that 44% of Americans would consider going to work with a fever, and 32% said they would show up to work no matter how sick they get this season.

The down economy is the principal generator of a workforce culture where calling in sick is foreboded; the survey revealed that almost 1-in-5 Americans (19%) have felt pressure to head into work when they're sick. Nearly 1-in-3 reported paid sick days are not part of their compensation package, 11% reported that taking off even one day could place them in jeopardy of paying their bills on time and 10% of Americans suggested that calling in sick may impact their employment picture, whether that means being passed on a promotion or being terminated altogether.

The Halls cold-and-flu survey was a telephone survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Halls. The phone survey took place between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 among 621 employed adults ages 18 years and older, using random digit dialing of listed and unlisted numbers.