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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Veritas GMAT Class Experience Lesson 1 Live Free Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Trial & Practice Exam BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick This topic has 8 expert replies and 8 member replies Goto page • 1, • 2 RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Joined 30 May 2012 Posted: 889 messages Followed by: 4 members Upvotes: 8 #### To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:58 am To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick, Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor. But a year after the policy was implemented, a study found that Corporation X's overall productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased. Which of the following, if true, would best explain why the policy produced the reverse of its intended effect? (A) After the policy was implemented, employees more frequently went to the doctor when they felt sick. (B) Before the policy was implemented, employees who were not sick at all often called in sick. (C) Employees coming into work when sick often infect many of their coworkers. (D) Unusually few employees became genuinely sick during the year after the policy was implemented. (E) There are many other factors besides employee illness that can adversely affect productivity. OA: C Source: OG 2016,CR Qs.58 @Verbal Experts - I'm completely lost here! How A is wrong ? Why C is preferred to A as the OA ? Please share your DETAIL analysis on this CR. ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2627 messages Followed by: 117 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:35 am RBBmba@2014 wrote: DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote: Quote: Likely ASSUMPTIONS: 1. SICK employees who'll NOT need to visit to doctor and would subsequently have to come to office, WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or WILL NOT impact the overall productivity. Not necessarily. The employer just has to assume that a sick employee will be more productive in the office than that sick employee would have been at home. (Imagine that with a minor illness, an employee in the office is 80% as productive as she usually is, but at home is 50% as productive as she usually is. The employer would still want her to come to the office, even though there's a substantial drop-off from when she's healthy.) While, I can understand what you've mentioned as an ASSUMPTION, BUT don't really get it straight how my above mentioned ASSUMPTION stands INCORRECT since the OA seems to cast doubt on this line! Isn't it ? The OA assumes the opposite: if sick employees are nearly as productive as healthy ones, then it wouldn't have much impact on productivity if sick employees were to come into the office and infect their coworkers. In order for the OA to make sense, a sick worker must be less productive than a healthy one, and so productivity drops when a sick worker comes to work and infects her colleagues. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member
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DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Quote:
3. In most of the cases, doctor will provide proper recommendation - that means he'll NOT recommend a sick employee to stay at home by getting influenced by the patient.
No need to assume this. Here's the actual text: Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor.

It never says that the doctor has to validate the employee claims of sickness. The employees just need to be sick enough that they have to go to a doctor. It doesn't say who decides what sick enough to see a doctor means, or that these sick employees require some kind of note from their doctor documenting their illness.
If this is NOT a valid ASSUMPTION then how we can say that these visits to the doctor are NOT increasing the number of absences. Because -

Per the ARGUMENT,to reduce productivity losses from SICK employees, company wants its SICK employees to be in the office UNLESS they need to visit to doctors for their sickness. So, it implies that if SICK employees want to justify their absence they'll have to visit to doctors, per the new POLICY - that necessarily means if you're sick either come to office or go to a doctor to confirm your stay at home.

Now in line with what is mentioned in the ARGUMENT, Option A seems to imply that to avoid coming to office when sick,employees more frequently went to the doctor as that will help them to avoid work and to stay at home,per the new POLICY. Thus lack of presence of EMPLOYEES due to this situation would ultimately decrease the overall productivity at work.

NOT really able to get where I'm getting it wrong ?

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Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:27 pm
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
To reduce productivity losses from employees calling in sick, Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor. But a year after the policy was implemented, a study found that Corporation X's overall productivity losses due to reported employee illnesses had increased.

Which of the following, if true, would best explain why the policy produced the reverse of its intended effect?

(A) After the policy was implemented, employees more frequently went to the doctor when they felt sick.
(B) Before the policy was implemented, employees who were not sick at all often called in sick.
(C) Employees coming into work when sick often infect many of their coworkers.
(D) Unusually few employees became genuinely sick during the year after the policy was implemented.
(E) There are many other factors besides employee illness that can adversely affect productivity.

OA: C

Source: OG 2016,CR Qs.58

@Verbal Experts - I'm completely lost here! How A is wrong ? Why C is preferred to A as the OA ?

Let me concentrate on the options A and C.

A. After the policy was implemented, employees more frequently went to the doctor when they felt sick.
This simply says that the employees go to the doctors more frequently. It does not talk about the number of people who go to the doctor.

C. Employees coming into work when sick often infect many of their coworkers.
Since as per the new rules, the employees had to come to office until they were very sick, the employees might affect other healthy employees too.
This would make the others such too and explain the decrease in productivity.

Correct Option: C

Does this help?

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GMAT On Demand Course: $299 (Use Discount Code BEATTHEGMAT111)* *All GMAT Courses Have A 50 Points Score Improvement Or Full Refund Guarantee RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Joined 30 May 2012 Posted: 889 messages Followed by: 4 members Upvotes: 8 Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:37 pm I still don't get this straight. Option C: If Coming to office while being sick makes other colleagues infected, so how we can say overall productivity will actually decrease ? Because these newly infected employees might as well continue to come to office as do their other sick colleagues - employees who are responsible for spreading such infection in the office! So, if first group can come to office even being sick, then the colleagues who're getting infected by the first group may also come to office similarly. How this logic is incorrect ? Option A: I think this option talks about the employees IN GENERAL. So, doesn't A seem to imply that employees frequently visit doctors to justify their sickness as the new policy requires them to do so in order to justify their absence in the office owing to sickness, even if they're NOT that much sick that requires them to go to a doctor. Therefore, company's plan to increase the productivity by implementing new policy would fail; in other words the policy would produce the reverse of its intended effect because such situation would ultimately decrease the productivity as these employees would NOT attend office by citing that they had to visit doctors because of their sickness. Why it's wrong ? Could you please clarify these doubts ? ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2627 messages Followed by: 117 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:01 pm RBBmba@2014 wrote: I still don't get this straight. Option C: If Coming to office while being sick makes other colleagues infected, so how we can say overall productivity will actually decrease ? Because these newly infected employees might as well continue to come to office as do their other sick colleagues - employees who are responsible for spreading such infection in the office! So, if first group can come to office even being sick, then the colleagues who're getting infected by the first group may also come to office similarly. How this logic is incorrect ? Option A: I think this option talks about the employees IN GENERAL. So, doesn't A seem to imply that employees frequently visit doctors to justify their sickness as the new policy requires them to do so in order to justify their absence in the office owing to sickness even if they're NOT that much sick that requires them to go to a doctor. Therefore, company's plan to increase the productivity by implementing new policy would fail; in other words the policy would produce the reverse of its intended effect because such situation would ultimately decrease the productivity. Why it's wrong ? Could you please clarify these doubts ? Remember, it's not enough to demonstrate that the conclusion wouldn't hold here, we have to show that the answer choice would lead to the reverse of the intended effect. Sick employees choosing to go to the doctor isn't going to make things worse. Before the policy was implemented, presumably, sick employees simply stayed home. After the new plan was implemented, they likely started going to the doctor to justify their absences. (Recall: the new policy dictates that you can only stay home if you're sick enough to require a doctor visit.) But there's no evidence to suggest that these visits to the doctor are increasing the number of absences.) C is operating under the not unreasonable assumption that a sick employee is less productive than a healthy one. Imagine you and I are the only employees at a company. I want to stay home - I've got a fever and chills. If the boss insists that I come in, and then I make you sick, even if we're both toughing it out and staying at the office, we're probably going to be much less productive than we would have been if I'd stayed home, and you'd remained healthy. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:06 am
@Dave - I hear you out but not really able to convince myself that how the other side of explanation would be wrong! It appears to me that as GMAC says OA is C, so some sort of brute force is in play to make it stand out as OA.

Now before I go into my concerns related to these TWO options, please let me know whether the followings are Likely ASSUMPTIONS:

1. SICK employees who'll NOT need to visit to doctor and would subsequently have to come to office, WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or WILL NOT impact the overall productivity.

2. Many SICK employees likely leverage their sickness in order to stay at home,even if they're fit enough to come to office,despite being sick.

3. In most of the cases, doctor will provide proper recommendation - that means he'll NOT recommend a sick employee to stay at home by getting influenced by the patient.

Are these above ASSUMPTIONS correct ?

Does anyhow option A relate to the THIRD ASSUMPTION mentioned above ? I mean,going to doctor more frequently when sick, doesn't necessarily mean that the SICK employees will get doctor's recommendation to stay at home - is this situation you tried to highlight as the reason that option A is wrong?

As for the OA: I think, it hits the FIRST ASSUMPTION that I mentioned above. Thoughts ?

Last edited by RBBmba@2014 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:44 am
Quote:
Now before I go into my concerns related to these TWO options, please let me know whether the followings are Likely ASSUMPTIONS:

1. SICK employees who'll NOT need to visit to doctor and would subsequently have to come to office, WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or WILL NOT impact the overall productivity.
Not necessarily. The employer just has to assume that a sick employee will be more productive in the office than that sick employee would have been at home. (Imagine that with a minor illness, an employee in the office is 80% as productive as she usually is, but at home is 50% as productive as she usually is. The employer would still want her to come to the office, even though there's a substantial drop-off from when she's healthy.)

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Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now! ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2627 messages Followed by: 117 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:45 am Quote: 2. Many SICK employees likely leverage their sickness in order to stay at home,even if they're fit enough to come to office,despite being sick. That looks valid. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:50 am
Quote:
3. In most of the cases, doctor will provide proper recommendation - that means he'll NOT recommend a sick employee to stay at home by getting influenced by the patient.
No need to assume this. Here's the actual text: Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor.

It never says that the doctor has to validate the employee claims of sickness. The employees just need to be sick enough that they have to go to a doctor. It doesn't say who decides what sick enough to see a doctor means, or that these sick employees require some kind of note from their doctor documenting their illness.

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Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now! RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Joined 30 May 2012 Posted: 889 messages Followed by: 4 members Upvotes: 8 Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:22 am DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote: Quote: Likely ASSUMPTIONS: 1. SICK employees who'll NOT need to visit to doctor and would subsequently have to come to office, WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or WILL NOT impact the overall productivity. Not necessarily. The employer just has to assume that a sick employee will be more productive in the office than that sick employee would have been at home. (Imagine that with a minor illness, an employee in the office is 80% as productive as she usually is, but at home is 50% as productive as she usually is. The employer would still want her to come to the office, even though there's a substantial drop-off from when she's healthy.) While, I can understand what you've mentioned as an ASSUMPTION, BUT don't really get it straight how my above mentioned ASSUMPTION stands INCORRECT since the OA seems to cast doubt on this line! Isn't it ? Last edited by RBBmba@2014 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2627 messages Followed by: 117 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:40 am RBBmba@2014 wrote: DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote: Quote: 3. In most of the cases, doctor will provide proper recommendation - that means he'll NOT recommend a sick employee to stay at home by getting influenced by the patient. No need to assume this. Here's the actual text: Corporation X implemented a new policy requiring employees to come into work unless they were so sick that they had to go to a doctor. It never says that the doctor has to validate the employee claims of sickness. The employees just need to be sick enough that they have to go to a doctor. It doesn't say who decides what sick enough to see a doctor means, or that these sick employees require some kind of note from their doctor documenting their illness. If this is NOT a valid ASSUMPTION then how we can say that these visits to the doctor are NOT increasing the number of absences. Because - Per the ARGUMENT,to reduce productivity losses from SICK employees, company wants its SICK employees to be in the office UNLESS they need to visit to doctors for their sickness. So, it implies that if SICK employees want to justify their absence they'll have to visit to doctors, per the new POLICY - that necessarily means if you're sick either come to office or go to a doctor to confirm your stay at home. Now in line with what is mentioned in the ARGUMENT, Option A seems to imply that to avoid coming to office when sick,employees more frequently went to the doctor as that will help them to avoid work and to stay at home,per the new POLICY. Thus lack of presence of EMPLOYEES due to this situation would ultimately decrease the overall productivity at work. NOT really able to get where I'm getting it wrong ? Imagine you and I are the only employees of this company. You're my boss. Before you begin enforcing this policy, when I get sick, I stay home from work. Dave's illness = 1/2 workers are present. After you begin enforcing this policy, I go to the doctor to justify my absence when I'm sick. Dave's illness = 1/2 workers are present. So the policy doesn't increase the number of my absences if I increase the frequency of my visits to the doctor. It just alters the hoops I need to jump through to justify my absence. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:21 am
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
In order for the OA to make sense, a sick worker must be less productive than a healthy one, and so productivity drops when a sick worker comes to work and infects her colleagues.
TRUE.
However,I guess, I'm NOT able to clearly convey what I intend to...let me try to clarify!

What I essentially mean is: this -- SICK employees who'll [NOT -- need to -- visit to doctors and will subsequently have to] come to office, [WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or] AT LEAST WILL NOT affect the overall productivity in the office -- is an ASSUMPTION by the COMPANY while making the new POLICY. That means, the COMPANY must have assumed this to fame this new POLICY, otherwise even if SICK employees come to office then they just may not necessarily infect their coworkers.

Now, the CONCLUSION is that the policy produced the reverse of its intended effect - increases the productivity losses (instead of reducing it). Therefore,thus the Option D stands as the OA by attacking the above ASSUMPTION by the COMPANY.

RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member
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Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:29 am
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Imagine you and I are the only employees of this company. You're my boss. Before you begin enforcing this policy, when I get sick, I stay home from work. Dave's illness = 1/2 workers are present.

After you begin enforcing this policy, I go to the doctor to justify my absence when I'm sick.
Dave's illness = 1/2 workers are present.

So the policy doesn't increase the number of my absences if I increase the frequency of my visits to the doctor. It just alters the hoops I need to jump through to justify my absence.
Hi Dave,
Got you here Sir!

I think, Option A could be a close contender to be the OA if the CONCLUSION were ONLY "POLICY DIDN'T PRODUCE ITS INTENDED EFFECT" or "POLICY SIMPLY FAILED TO REDUCE PRODUCTIVITY LOSSES DUE TO EMPLOYEE FALLING ILL" , rather than what is given as the CONCLUSION that the policy produced the REVERSE of its intended effect.

Thoughts ?

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Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:08 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
In order for the OA to make sense, a sick worker must be less productive than a healthy one, and so productivity drops when a sick worker comes to work and infects her colleagues.
TRUE.
However,I guess, I'm NOT able to clearly convey what I intend to...let me try to clarify!

What I essentially mean is: this -- SICK employees who'll [NOT -- need to -- visit to doctors and will subsequently have to] come to office, [WILL NOT have any SIGNIFICANT decrease in productivity and/or] AT LEAST WILL NOT affect the overall productivity in the office -- is an ASSUMPTION by the COMPANY while making the new POLICY. That means, the COMPANY must have assumed this to fame this new POLICY, otherwise even if SICK employees come to office then they just may not necessarily infect their coworkers.

Now, the CONCLUSION is that the policy produced the reverse of its intended effect - increases the productivity losses (instead of reducing it). Therefore,thus the Option D stands as the OA by attacking the above ASSUMPTION by the COMPANY.

Ah, I see. Though we can't assume that the company takes it for granted that a sick employee is as productive as a healthy one, it is perfectly reasonable to posit that the company assumes that the sick workers who come into work won't infect other employees and that the correct answer demolishes this assumption.

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