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It’s cold and flu season: Are you too sick to go to work?

By Sarah Klein for

In today’s workplaces, a day off is a true luxury. With mile-long to-do lists and a frighteningly-high number of un- or under-employed hopefuls ready to take their places, more and more people are choosing not to take time off — even when they are sick with a cold or the flu.

A 2011 survey from Career Builder found that 72 percent of people go to work sick. This year, a survey from Staples found that number may be even closer to 80 percent.

So how do you know when you’re too sick to report for duty or not sick enough to call out?

At one time or another, most of us have probably felt like being present in the office was absolutely necessary, no matter the color of that mucus. Bloomberg reports:

Perhaps you feel you’re indispensable, or that taking some time off will mean coming back to even more work. Or perhaps you’re in a situation where you literally can’t afford to miss a day or two at the office.

But showing up when you’re feeling lousy, a phenomenon known as presenteeism, can actually hurt your employer. Lower-than-normal, cold-medicine-fueled productivity levels can actually cost employers more than it would if you just took a sick day, WebMD reported.

Keep reading for more benefits of taking a sick day…

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