Millennials, Gen Z more likely to call in sick to work than Gen X, Baby Boomers

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Millennials are the most likely age group to call in sick to work, while Baby Boomers are the most likely to work through an illness, according to a new survey.

The research, which surveyed 2000 US workers, revealed that 45 per cent of Millennials had no problem calling in sick to work while 47 per cent of Baby Boomers would work despite being under the weather, New York Post reports.

Gen Z were the next most likely to call in sick with 36 per cent reaching for the phone, while on the flip side, 30 per cent of Gen Xers would soldier on through their sickness.

Despite that, nearly half of those surveyed said they felt bad when they called in sick, with only 32 per cent saying they don’t feel guilty at all. And 41 per cent of respondents said they would call in sick the moment they started to feel unwell.

Some people coped with their illnesses better than others as well.

Around 35 per cent said they tend to complain a lot when they get sick, while 45 per cent said they didn’t complain much.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll for cold and allergy brand Zicam, also found 40 per cent were reactive about their health pre-pandemic – only doing something about it when they didn’t feel well – compared with 32 per cent who were proactive, trying to treat symptoms early and take preventive measures to try to avoid getting sick.

However, the pandemic changed that significantly. Now, 43 per cent say they are proactive about their health with 34 per cent reactive.

More than three in five (64 per cent) are more likely to cancel plans now than before the pandemic if they feel themselves getting sick. Meanwhile 60 per cent feel bad about cancelling their personal plans.

From the moment they show a single symptom, 74 per cent claim they’ll do everything in their power to prevent themselves from getting sick.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve seen a pretty significant shift when it comes to consumers taking a more proactive approach to their overall health and wellbeing,” Zicam senior director of marketing Bruce Tetreault said.

“Younger generations aren’t waiting around to get sick, then struggle to get through it. They rather lay low early and treat their symptoms instead of waiting until it’s too late.”

Results also revealed the most embarrassing illness symptoms to experience in public – runny noses (22 per cent), excessive coughing (20 per cent), excess mucus (11 per cent), and an upset stomach (10 per cent).

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 71 per cent have found themselves self-conscious when they cough or sneeze in public – and 61 per cent will do almost anything to avoid it.

“Since the pandemic began, no one wants to be ‘that person’ coughing in a crowded room,” Mr Tetreault said.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Millennials, Gen Z more likely to call in sick to work

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