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Millions of British employees are being forced into the office despite suffering from heavy colds and flu. Fear of the boss and, for many, feelings of self importance, seem to be at the root of the problem.

The research, undertaken by new cold and flu remedy Olbas Powerflu, shows that a staggering 79 per cent of the 5,000 workers surveyed live in fear of the consequences of calling in sick. They appear to suffer from a new condition called FACE – Fear of Another Colleague or Employer.

More than a quarter (29 per cent) worry their loyalty and commitment will be questioned while nearly half (45 per cent) are just afraid of what their boss will think. One in 20 (five per cent) fear that another colleague will step in to cover their work and do the job better than them.

Additionally, almost a fifth (21 per cent) admitted to having a self importance complex (SIC). SICies drag themselves from their SIC beds into work, despite being ill, as they are worried that no one else can do the job as well as they can.

Olbas Powerflu spokeswoman, Hilary Lynn, says “Our research indicates how much pressure SICies put themselves under to return to work when unwell. That’s not surprising when more than one in ten of those respondents also admitted to thinking that having a bad cold or flu isn’t a good enough reason for calling in sick.

“As a nation of workaholics we need to recognise that heavy colds and flu can be very debilitating. Fortunately there are very simple steps employers and employees can take to reduce symptoms, and get you back to the office and feeling fighting fit in no time.”

It’s important for employers to note that a huge 86 per cent of people surveyed said cold and flu sufferers are actually less productive at work. ‘Battling on’ also tends to slow down the sufferer’s recovery, and brings with it the risk of them to passing on their illness to others.

The key is to enable and encourage people to get better as quickly as possible and there are several ways to empower staff to do this and get back to work with minimum negative impact. Firstly, recognise the illness, don’t just shrug it off. A caring approach will undoubtedly stop staff from feeling additional pressure which could mean a longer recovery period.

Encourage employees to visit their local pharmacist. A pharmacist can quickly recommend the right treatment based on a discussion to ascertain their particular needs.

With Olbas Powerflu’s integrated two-tablet approach (with a multi relief tablet and separate chewable vitamin C tablet), you can achieve relief from the effects of cold and flu symptoms, meaning you can get back to work, impress your boss, and stop those pesky colleagues from stealing your limelight”

The top troopers for SIC* are those who work in healthcare, construction, education and management consultancy; while workers who most suffer from FACE are likely to work in IT, recruitment or are graduate trainees.

The poll also found that despite many British workers continuing to work through heavy colds and flu, a cheeky 38 per cent of us have invented an illness, just to get some time off work.


Notes to editors:

For further survey information, interviews and imagery, please contact Sam Purnell, Jemma Watkins or Kirsty Gyton at Bray Leino on 0117 973 1173 / E: / /


Top Self Importance Complex (SIC) careers:

1. Healthcare (Professional, Scientific and Technical) = 100%
2. Construction = 100%
3. Education, Training and Library = 66.67%
4. Management Consultancy = 50%
5. Accountancy = 40%
6. Engineering, Manufacturing, Utilities = 38.78%
7. Media Creative = 36%
8. Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry = 33.33%
9. Banking, Insurance and Finance = 30.95%
10. Travel, Leisure and Tourism = 28.57%

Top Fear of Another Colleague or Employer (FACE) careers:

1. Computers, Software, IT specialists = 100%
2. Graduate Trainees = 100%
3. Promotions = 100%
4. Recruitment = 100%
5. Research & Development = 100%
6. Retail = 100%
7. Legal = 95.16%
8. Property Development = 92.31%
9. Secretarial, PAs and Administrators = 92.06%
10. Telecommunications = 87.5%

Top 10 locations for SIC:

1 - Aberystwyth
2 - Newcastle
3 - Swansea
4 - Cardiff
5 - Plymouth
6 - Edinburgh
7 - London
8 - Brighton & Hove
9 - Leicester
10 - Cambridge

Top 10 locations for FACE:

1 - Chelmsford
2 - Belfast
3 - Norwich
4 - Birmingham
5 - Southampton
6 - Sheffield
7 - Manchester
8 - Glasgow
9 - Liverpool
10 - Leeds

About Olbas Powerflu

Olbas Powerflu is a powerful and effective two tablet treatment for the symptoms of colds and flu.

The first tablet brings rapid relief from a wide range of cold and flu symptoms whilst the second tablet is a lemon flavoured chewable Vitamin C tablet that helps speed recovery. Together the Olbas Powerflu plus Vitamin C system relieves the symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion, headache and runny nose, fever and aching limbs, and nasal congestion in allergic conditions, whilst replenishing your body’s vital store of Vitamin C.

You will find Powerflu in most pharmacies although you will need to ask the pharmacist for it. Olbas Powerflu contains Codeine and Paracetamol.

6 dose pack RRP £3.15
12 dose pack RRP £4.95

Olbas Powerflu is made and distributed by LanesHealth, a family owned business based in Gloucester.

About LanesHealth

In 1930, Gilbert Lane established a thriving and prosperous family business. Gilbert was interested in all aspects of health and nutrition and he developed a wide range of effective remedies to treat many common ailments.

Today LanesHealth continue their founder’s tradition of developing effective treatments which will help improve people’s health and quality of life.

Olbas Powerflu is the first Pharmacy-only product manufactured by LanesHealth.

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