Soldiering on can 'harm your career'


Soldiering on can 'harm your career'

Will Hadfield

IT managers who refuse to take the day off when they are too sick to work could be damaging their careers, according to the author of a report into workplace health.

"People who tend not to report illness are people who are highly competitive and do not want to admit they are not coping," said Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School.

"Their line managers might not know they are not coping and they are going to wonder about the drop in performance."

In a survey of 1,541 UK-based managers, including 81 IT managers, Cooper found that 66%  failed to report illness to their bosses.

A long-hours culture, too few people doing too much work, and poor senior management were contributory factors in the incidence of illness among those surveyed, Cooper said.

Some 68% of IT managers said they were unproductive for at least 20% of their working time due to ill health.

"The IT industry is not known for the best management practices, and increased competition means working to deadlines," said Cooper.

Some 60% of managers said they had suffered from illness for a greater number of days in 2005 than they did in 2004, the Chartered Management Institute-commissioned report, The Quality of Working Life, found.


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