40% of South Africans likely to 'pull a sickie' this winter

40% of South Africans likely to 'pull a sickie' this winter

Winter is here! What does that mean? Well, thousands of South Africans plan to call their office and "pull a sickie" over the next two months.

Sick man

A survey has revealed that nearly 40% of South Africans plan on taking advantage of winter's cold season by "pulling a sickie". 

Pharma Dynamics, a cold and flu medicine provider, surveyed 1,500 employees in the country to find out how they are preparing for the cold and flu season.

Many revealed that they are likely to pretend to be sick just to get a day because they "cant's face a day in the office". 

Pharma Dynamics' spokesperson Nicole Jennings says June and July are popular months to "pull a sickie" because the gloomy weather and increase in colds and flu provides a good excuse for some.

“Nearly a third of those polled admitted that they’ve pulled a sickie before – 45% of whom said they do so two to three times a year, while a few chancers (15% in fact) do so even more often. The 40% whose conscience probably gets the better of them, can only bring themselves to do so once annually," she said in a press release. 

The survey also found that over 51% of those polled convince their partners, and sometimes their children, to take a duvet day with them. 

"20% either didn’t have a partner or a child, which implied that if they did, they’d probably get them to bunk with them too. The remaining 29% preferred to do so solo,” said Jennings. 

Here are some of the top excuses listed by those polled to get out of work:

1. Coming down with a cold or flu, stomach bug or migraine (78%)
2. Personal reasons (27%)
3. Home emergencies, such as a burst geyser, alarm problems etc (19%)
4. Stress and/or burn-out was tied with having to look after a sick relative or partner (15%)
5. Transport difficulties – bus, train, taxi running late or car trouble (8%)
6. Overslept (7%)
7. Making an appointment weeks ago that you forgot to inform the office about and can’t cancel at the last minute (5%)
8. Hangover (4%)
9. Broken out in a rash (1%)

Social media also makes it easier for some to send in their excuses. Sixty-two percent of participants used WhatsApp or a text message to send their manager or boss a message, while seven percent used email. Less than 30% said they called to inform their managers about their absenteeism. 

Jennings says employers can ensure chancers don't take advantage this cold season by insisting on a doctor's note if they notice a pattern developing. 

But not everyone is taking chances this winter. Over 46% of South Africans were taking daily immune-boosters or vitamin-enriched tablets to make sure they don't get a cold. 

Jennings says a typical cold or flu can last a week, while a severe strain could last two weeks or more. 

She recommends taking a supplement that contains vitamin C, Echinacea and zinc. The combination helps strengthen your immune system. 

“Vitamin C concentrations in the body tend to decline as a result of stress and/or infection and since it isn’t produced by the body, it needs constant replenishing via food sources. However, in our rushed day and age, it may not be practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruit and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective and easy to do. Both zinc and Echinacea increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections and reduce the chances of catching a cold. Therefore, all three nutrients play a vital role in combatting colds and flu,” she said. 

 If you contract a cold or flu make sure you get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet. 

ALSO READ: Is your carpet making you sick?

Show's Stories