Are you a mucus trooper?

You are if you’re sick but you go to work anyway. Companies have discovered that these folks should no longer be considered hearty heroes because they spread their illness to others and that makes productivity drop.

Presenteeism (the opposite of absenteeism) costs companies as much as $150 billion in lost productivity, higher healthcare expenses and cascading absences due to contagion, according to a recent report in the Harvard Business Review.

And apparently 95 percent of healthy adults are entering flu season unvaccinated. Sounds like this winter we could be overrun with armies of mucus troopers, sniffling, sneezing, and coughing all over us and our stuff. Sounds like another good reason to telecommute. After all, there’s plenty of grey area between sick and not sick. If you’re being hammered by the flu, you’re clearly sick. But what if you just have the sniffles? If you’re feeling a tad ill, maybe you shouldn’t clock a whole day’s work. But maybe you can still do something. Why not avoid that awful commute and return emails at home in your pajamas?