Working while sick, like so many other things, can be a slippery slope to navigate. With the cold and flu season in full swing, you don’t want to be a chronic call off. However, at the same time, you don’t want your illness to affect your co-workers or your productivity. So where’s the line? When you’re sick, when should you call in, and when should you carry on?
Working while sick with co-workers
The line depends on the job. If you are going into an office with others, you should consider what’s best not only for you but for your co-workers as well. If you are sputtering and spewing mucus, it may very well be that your co-workers wouldn’t appreciate being exposed to that. Another consideration should also be your workload for the day. If there is something absolutely essential that needs to be taken care of and it is a time-sensitive matter, it is probably the best you discuss it with your boss, but make a valiant effort to at least complete the essential tasks. When I worked in an office, my rule of thumb was that if I could stand and talk, I was there. I left it to my bosses to make the call whether or not I stayed.
Working while sick from home
However, when you’re working from home, the working while sick thing is much easier to do. You don’t have to concern yourself with the health of your co-workers because you aren’t exposing them to whatever illness you may have. I think the line here is much easier to distinguish. When do you call off? When your work is affected by your illness.
Do only what you can do while being sick
Let us say you spend all day on the phones……if you lose your voice, you will be really unproductive making phone calls, right? But that’s probably not the only thing you do. Find the tasks that aren’t affected by whatever ails you, and do that. Give your voice a day of rest, catch up on emails, administrative tasks etc.
Everybody’s situation is a little different, but the bottom line is you have to weigh the effect of your illness on your ability to do your job. If you can be productive, then do it, but BE PRODUCTIVE! Don’t just go to collect a paycheck, believe me, anybody who is paying attention will know that is what you’re doing.
Just be sure you are choosing the appropriate self-care strategy that suits your needs while taking these other things into consideration! Get well soon!
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