As winter approaches, the number of employees calling out sick starts to climb.
Chances are some of those absences will be due not from the sniffles, but by stress, which employees almost always mask as something else. So says a recent survey by U.K. mental health charity Mind.
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The survey of 2,000 British employees found that one in five workers have called in sick because of stress. Almost all of them (93 percent) did not truthfully explain stress as the culprit, instead lying to their bosses.
The most common cover-ups for stress-induced days off?
Upset stomach (36%)
Medical appointment (6%)
Back problems (5%)
Housing problems and ill family members were also cited.
But the study says most workers did not want to lie. Nearly 70 percent said they wanted to discuss stress with their employers.
A majority also said they didn’t feel their bosses did enough to look after the workplace well-being of their staff.
The study coincided with Stress Awareness Day last week in the United Kingdom.
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