The necessity of the American sick day

Living in Minnesota during the winter is just asking for a cold. Between temperatures dropping below zero and the endless sniffles and coughs in class, getting a bug is almost as common as getting bit by a mosquito in the summer.

In fact, more people are getting sick this year as compared to previous years, according to an article from Minnesota.CBSLocal.com. This is very apparent when walking through campus and seeing sniffling students.

When you get sick, classes, work, and everyday activities can seem like a huge task, but oftentimes we find ourselves dragging ourselves to work and class, and this feeling is not something that is unique to us at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Americans typically have a stereotype for avoiding sick days in order to be “hard workers” that will not miss a chance to work. This attitude has lead the U.S. to be one of the few developed nations that doesn’t have paid sick leave by law, according to an article from BBC News. This is a highly different route for caring for employees as compared to other nations around the world. For example, Sweden, France, and Denmark all offer 25 days of paid leave according to the same article from BBC News. Think about that. 25 days if needed!

While working through sickness may sound good in theory and make Americans appear “tough,” one may call into question the efficiency of going to work while sick.

We’ve all been there. It’s hard to focus and get work done while sick in the office, and oftentimes we leave feeling worse than if we would have just stayed home to try to recover. Sickness leads to less productivity almost every time.

In my opinion, it’s time businesses look at the efficiency of allowing fewer sick days. The health of its workers is something that shouldn’t be looked at as an area of profit, but rather as an area of real concern and improvement.

Not only do sick days need to be reevaluated by businesses, but by people as well. Oftentimes, a sense of guilt from missing or not doing enough is worse than the feeling of being sick at work. While you may feel bad for awhile, your health is more important.

Overall, the U.S. needs some work when it comes to sick days, both on the business end and on the psychological end.

What do you think about taking sick days? Tweet at us using the hashtag “#SickDayMSU.

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