Remote workers less likely to take sick days in Switzerland

Remote workers less likely to take sick days in Switzerland

Many Swiss companies have noticed that people who work from home tend to take fewer sick days, leading to an increase in productivity. As Switzerland emerges from COVID restrictions, many international companies and local businesses are debating the merits of working from home, and many have found productivity has increased as people avoid the office.

Pandemic saw fewer sick days filed by Swiss workers

According to the Swiss Commercial Association, workers who do their jobs from home are absent less often. "The reason for this is that they can use the computer without much effort within the apartment or house - even if they are not feeling well," said spokesperson Dominic Karrer.

Media spokesperson for the Swiss postal service, Erich Goetschi, agreed that those who work from home are less absent, “Especially in the case of short absences.” Swisscom, a major phone and internet provider, said that they had seen a significant decrease in absence requests since the pandemic began.

Employees try to work from home, even when ill

According to 20 minuten, the lack of a commute means more employees are emboldened to work from home or even bed, regardless of how ill they are. Rudolf Minsch, chief economist at Economiesuisse, said that the phenomenon is “productivity-enhancing” and that employers may encourage those who are ill to work from home instead of taking days off in future.

However, many have voiced their concern that the culture being developed by employers puts workers under pressure. Laurenz Meier, a psychologist at the University of Neuchâtel, noted, “It is possible that [employees] also work when sick for fear of giving the boss the impression that they are lazy."

Working when ill prolongs recovery times

Meier made the point that working when ill often makes recovery take longer. Stefen Studer, Managing Director of Employees Switzerland, said that remote working “has a lot of catching up to do” in regard to how illnesses are managed.

He said that the statistics show that many workers try to do their jobs from bed when they are ill, leading to increased burnout. Studer called on employers with remote workers to study the state of their employees’ health so that they can give the right assistance to those struggling.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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