I’m I’ll. And I want everyone to know about it. Not because I want sympathy or some peculiar outpouring of grief but because I want everyone who I work with to know that I’m not coming into the office because I don’t want them to catch whatever variation of cold virus I’m currently lucky enough to be incubating. But if you are committed to your job, you have an endless to-do list, and you don’t want to let anyone down then the questions always hangs; should I go to work if I’m sick?
Every organisation will have their own policy when it comes to managing sickness and every job is different in what tasks are able to be done remotely versus a job that can only be carried out on site. You can’t lay bricks from home.
I’m lucky in the fact that most of the work I do is computer based. I work for two charities; as a mentor and educator for a charity supporting separated families, and as the Director of Communications for a mental health charity.
I guess that could be viewed as unlucky if you consider I’m prone to hunched posture, shortened hamstrings, impacted eyesight, neck and back pain – but I’m lucky in the sense that I can carry out the majority of my work wherever there’s a computer and an internet connection.
So all of this means that if I am ever sick then I am able to carry on with all but the face to face meetings, from my sick bed.
Equipped with a laptop, an internet connection, a dog for some token sympathy, and a day’s supply of Lemsip – I can work from home.
This is not to say that I’m against taking time off for illness – in fact I’m positively for taking time to recuperate if that’s what your body or mind needs. However, if there is an element of your job that you could do from home and want to do – then I believe you are better off working from home and not bringing your snot virus into the office.
It might be that there is no part of your job that you could do from home but it might be that you could take on some administration for another colleague or team. It might be that you could use the off-site time for some distanced strategic thinking.
Should you go to work if you are feeling sick? I argue no – because although we will sadly miss you today, hopefully you can do something from home that means that we don’t lose any productivity and you don’t lose any wages – but if you come into the office and everyone else catches what illness you’ve had – then we risk having even more people off and potentially having to shut down more services as a result.
If you need to take a sick day without working from home then please do so. If your mind or body needs some healing time then please listen to it and take it. Because i believe that it’s better to be off for a short period and recover than to not rest or to come back too soon and then go down with a long term illness.