Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Working in a cubicle farm has many disadvantages, which I have frequently discussed in past articles. The fact that people are packed in closely together and offices are open but windows are not means there are a lot of us all sharing the same air all day long. Which becomes a big problem when Jerry or Sally comes in to the office with a bad cold or the flu. Achoo!

Why do people come in to work sick? A recent poll by Kronos, Inc. has found that 98% of people surveyed said they went in to work when they were sick. People said they felt guilty staying at home and they had too much work to afford missing even a day in the office. I’ve often heard very sick folks dragging themselves around the office, sniffling and coughing all day long. It’s really surprising that here at cubetown, where most of us are given a company computer and access to our email and company files from anywhere in the world where we can find an internet connection, people still decide to drag themselves into the office, hacking and sneezing, so they can sit in their little cubicles. They think they’re doing something good for their company, but in truth they’re making everyone less productive, as they spread around their germs and infect others.

Some fun facts:
A single germ can multiply to 8 million germs in one day.
A sneeze can propel germs at 80 miles an hour across a room.
Viruses can live 2 hours or longer on a doorknob or desk.

The long-term effects of colds are still being discovered. A study just published by the Mayo Clinic found that there is a link between colds and memory loss. They found the family of viruses that cause the common cold caused memory loss in mice. That means that in addition to being annoying, those who valiantly come in to work sick may actually be contributing to the long-term breakdown of their company’s workforce. So unless that is your goal, stay home, stay in bed and get well. We’ll all benefit.

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