Millions of adults have admitted that they would continue working if they felt bad after the blockade – despite official advice telling them to stay away following the pandemic.
A study of 2,000 workers found that one in 14 would still go ahead regardless of how bad they felt and the symptoms they were suffering from.
And a third would like to continue working with the symptoms of cold and flu simply because they would lose too much talk, gossip and colleagues.
More than a third admitted that they usually don’t consider other people in the workplace when they are not feeling well, while almost half feel the pressure of their boss to enter regardless.
The study, conducted by Thermalcheck, which developed a non-contact temperature measurement station, also found that before the coronavirus pandemic, 80% would get to work with a cold or flu.
Nearly four out of 10 would have continued with a bad cough, 33% with a tight chest and 52% with stomach pain.
Guilt over dumping a colleague was the most common reason for continuing to work in conditions of malaise, along with the feeling of being too busy and wanting to be seen as a worker.
A Thermalcheck spokesman said: “Despite the pandemic and the advice to avoid others in case of malaise, there are still a large number of workers who will feel they have to go to work.
“And there are a number of reasons for this, either because they will miss their colleagues, who have too much work to do or who feel the pressure of their boss to get in.
“But in light of the pandemic, this approach to work while sick needs to change and employers must ensure the safety of their workforce, as people become more aware of passing on their germs and social exclusion measures.”
The study also found that 73% of workers would gain assurance that their colleagues’ temperatures were tested before entering the building, preventing anyone with a fever from coming in the immediate vicinity.
An abundant hand sanitizer, social removal measures and frequently cleaned toilets were some of the other precautions that staff want to see when they return.
Further reassurance would be obtained by 56% of employers by ensuring that colleagues behave and follow directions – with 61% hoping that their workplace will be kept cleaner than before.
Research also revealed that half of respondents have lied to themselves in the past about how bad they feel before going to work.
As a result, 39% suspect they have passed on their illness to a colleague.
But 63 percent said there are disease levels that they consider acceptable for work, with 61 percent who believe that having a nose is not a good reason to call a patient.
And 59% say that having a cough doesn’t mean they can’t work, with nearly one in five worried that they wouldn’t get paid if they called sick.
However, 57% are afraid that colleagues may end up taking advantage of the recent uncertainty by pulling the occasional sick day.
One in six even worries that the employer is not doing enough to ensure everyone’s safety – with an uncertain quarter about how seriously their job will take precautions.
Nearly four out of 10 are concerned about the speed with which employers will relax their position on the coronavirus.
Nearly a third believe that colleagues will have stopped taking precautions, such as washing their hands regularly or staying home in the event of illness, within two weeks of their return.
More than a third are unsure of respecting social distances, with a quarter worried about taking public transportation to get there.
A Thermalcheck spokesman added: “What is clear is that employees expect to return to work with the right precautions and want to feel that their company is taking things seriously.
“Given a large number of people who feel the need to go to work when they show symptoms of illness, it is not really surprising that people want to feel safe from others.
“Our mission is to provide a simple and effective device to employers and employees alike to alleviate those concerns so that everyone can continue their day job.”