Can the Sniffles Kill Your Company?
It is an evergreen question in public health: just how much money do Americans lose every year in productivity to basic ailments like the common cold?
Such calculations can be tricky, as they involve a number of overlapping signals – say you miss a day of work; you may spend $20 at the pharmacy for a nasal spray, and surely that’s worth something. One group has attempted to sort out the whole problem, and the results are fairly dramatic:
What is the lost productivity cost of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis?
A. $ 0 per year
B. $ 1,000 per year
C. $ 10,000 per year
D. $ 20,000 per year
Answer: C. $ 10,000 per year
That’s if you make around $30K a year, which is the national median.
So what’s the takeaway? Sleep a lot, don’t split sundaes with sick people, and remember to see a sinus specialist if the next time you have symptoms that linger for more than two weeks. You may be surprised how much money everyone saves when everyone stays a little healthier.