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How much it's costing you and your employer when you go to work sick

Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 10:30:33-05

Coming to work when you're sick can cost your company hundreds in lost productivity, but having a sick child stay home is costly too.

One doctor at the University of Arizona says the hundreds of dollars in costs are spread between families, companies and schools.

Dr. Charles Gerba said studies show it costs you and the company $500 a day if you come to work with a headache.

Coming to work with a cold or the flu costs around $280 a day. It's not just monetary costs in lost productivity or fringe benefits, it's also lost money spent in our medical care system. 

The biggest non-monetary cost--infecting your coworkers. Once someone walks into your office sick, it only takes about 4 hours for the sick person to touch enough surfaces to infect half of your office.

For kids, the costs can be even greater. Children will miss about two weeks of school a year, and they get sick three times as often as adults.

The norovirus, or the stomach flu, can spread through schools very quickly this time of year, and if the outbreak is especially bad, doctors say it can cost a school district around a million dollars.

The top three hygiene practices that'll save you and your kids from getting sick: 
     1. washing your hands a few times a day
     2. using hand sanitizer
     3. Using a disinfectant wipe on your desk once a day

Doctors say doing those three things can cut your risk of getting sick in half.