Hard to answer, everyone gets sick once in a while. But I think everyone should play hookey at least 3-4 times a year
It depends on the job (how much is required of them) and the person (are they lazy). If I have a job that requires me to always be alert, work for 9 hours a day, and with people I do not get along with. I will skip about 12 days a year just because I don't like them. I'm not occasionally lazy so this is a low number. I just hate being bored.
Though this does not apply to my life right now. I'm a medical transcriptionist. My computer is my life. I'm on here for 9 hours a day in my own home listening to doctors discuss patients and procedures. Even if I am sick, I don't take off.
As someone who has employees - I'm ok with someone using a sick day as a "mental health" day on a rare occasion. If they are totally stressed out due to family or other issues and need to decompress or deal with a family matter, I'm ok with that...as long as it's not abused.
It tends to depend on the size of the business and their policies.
In small places employees are more like family and they don't want to let their friends down. In big companies where employees feel more faceless they are more likely to skip.
Then there are policies. Does the company have a "use it or loose it" policy? If they do then most employees will be "sick" the allotted number of days.
If the policy is that if you don't take any sick days you get paid for them at the end of the year, or get extra vacation days, most people won't use any they don't need.
These days many businesses have gone away from paid sick days so the loss of income keeps people from skipping when it isn't required.
Yet another factor is how the company treats holidays. If you are in the US you only get about 6 holidays in a year. 3 of those are likely to fall on non work days. If your employer has a "next day" policy IE; if the holiday falls on a weekend you still get a day off, people tend not to use sick days to make up the gap.
Overall; Americans have the fewest days off of just about any country in the world. As well as the least vacation days per years worked, unless you are in a public sector job or a heavily unionized job.
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