Stress Is A Big Driver For Sickies

Stress Is A Big Driver For Sickies

It’s no big revelation that Australians are fond of taking the odd sickie, but what drives us to do that? A recent survey suggests that stress might be just as common a reason as slackness.

Picture by Dave F

The Kronos Global Absence Survey (which covered 6,153 people) found that 58 per cent of Australians said that they had taken a sickie when they weren’t actually ill, but that the most common reason for needing a day off was workplace stress, followed by looking after a sick family member. You could argue that stress is itself a form of ill-health, and it’s also possible that no-one wanted to say to the survey taker “I just felt like slacking off”. What reasons have driven you to take a sickie?


  • I rarely get “sick” sick, I haven’t had a cold or flu in years. I do have a degenetive neuromuscular disorder though that does a fine job of emulating chronic fatigue some days. So that’s been my sole reason for sick days for the last year.

  • Of course stress is a big driver. Either stress weakens someone’s immune system and makes them sick, or the stress is at such a level they’re unable to perform properly that day.

    Being too unwell to work doesn’t, by definition, require contaigon, bacteria or viral infection.

  • Only problem with taking stress leave is that normally when you go back the cause of the stress is still there and you are even busier trying to catch up because you had a day off.

  • Ah the old conundrum. Take a day off due to sickness or stress go back the next day and put in extra time for the next week to catch up on the work you couldn’t do that day then end up stressed or sick to the point where you can’t work the next day and so the cycle continues…

    eventually we will all work at our “ideal” jobs where you want to come in when you are sick because it is such fun work or such a fun place to be. Everyone has their own definition of an ideal job and many may never experience it. I happen to enjoy working with the people I work with – even the ones that give me more work – but then I may be sick 🙂

  • I was more or less stuck in a situation where I ended up having to quit my job due to a stress related illness. Stress is a huge issue in some jobs and as much of a show as some companies like to put on, they really do not do a good job of helping to prevent or relieve stress.

  • I had a sickie last week…got as far as the carpark, and couldn’t get out of the car. Workplace stress is a serious issue, and in this case is caused by co-workers. However, that incident was the catalyst to realising that the current situation is no longer viable, and I’m now actively looking for something else.

  • It’s called taking a “mental health day”.
    Let’s face it work can drive you crazy these days with bosses who’ve never worked a day in their lives only interested in “the bottom line” driving their businesses into a profit/fail spiral. :/

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