Most people have gone to work when they were ill, showing they were much more likely to struggle in rather than pull a sickie, according to new research.
Seven out of 10 employees in private firms have turned up in the office while unwell when they should have taken the day off, said a report by insurance firm Aviva.
In contrast, less than a quarter say they have taken a day off work sick when they were not actually unwell.
More than two in five of 2,000 employees questioned said their employer puts the results of the company ahead of their health and wellbeing.
Many of those surveyed said they feared work would pile up if they were off sick. People are likely to be less productive if they go to work unwell, said Aviva.
Aviva UK Health medical director Dr Doug Wright said: "While every business wants the right level of resource in place, having employees who are unwell at work is a false economy.
"Businesses need to ensure they create a working culture whereby people do not feel pressurised into coming to work when they are unwell, safe in the knowledge their absence can be effectively managed.
"Presenteeism, driven in part by an increased 'always-on' culture, poses a genuine threat to overall business performance through the adverse impact on productivity and morale in the workplace."