New research published in Emerging Infectious Diseases found that access to telework allowed more employees to stay home when ill, which may be an effective strategy to control influenza infection rates.

Workers with access to telework were more likely to stay home when they had the flu or a flu-like illness compared with workers without a telework option, according to a survey study.

Adults with the flu are most infectious during the first 3 days of illness. Therefore, to reduce workplace-based transmission, it is important to encourage ill employees to stay home during this time.

From the employer’s perspective, availability of telework options can potentially be beneficial in terms of reduced sick leave usage and preserved productivity.