Being sick is bad enough, but being sick and feeling like you still have to go to work can take it to another level. There is a lot of guilt and worry about taking time off work when suffering from illness. Pressure from the boss, an ever increasing pile in the in-tray, important meetings, and dead-lines to meet can all make a convincing argument that going in while you are feeling terrible is the right thing to do. In fact, going to work when you are not well enough can be counter-productive and potentially irresponsible. Before you take yourself in to work when you are feeling like death warmed up, consider the following:
Can you do your job properly?
Consider how well you can perform your duties, will you be physically able to do the tasks required and will you have the ability to concentrate. It’s worth considering that, although you turn up for work, colleagues may still be doing much of the work for you to keep up the slack. You run of the risk of making mistakes through an inability to concentrate and focus properly, and your people skills may be impaired, possibly negatively effecting important meetings with clients and customers.
Are you at risk of infecting others?
Your illness may be contagious. You should consider the moral responsibility of protecting others from catching your illness. Staying at home while your are infectious can be much more beneficial to the company in the long term. Continuing to go to work risks other colleagues catching it from you and falling sick as well, which has an even greater impact on the company compared to you taking a period of time off, illuminating the risks of cross infection with your colleagues. You may think your boss would prefer for you to continue to work while you are ill, but many will appreciate you being responsible enough to know when you are not well and not want to put other co-workers at risk. If your work involves dealing with the public, customers, clients, or people you provide care for, you are also potentially putting them at risk.
Would you be better off resting?
It’s often far better to rest and recover at home rather than adding to your stress and exhaustion by continuing to go to work. Not giving your body and mind the time to rest and recover properly can lead to a longer period of illness and a greater impact on your job compared to taking time to recover and then return to work able to perform as your usual self.
Are you under the influence?
Are you taking medication that could impair your ability to do your work properly and safely? Many medications have side effects, such as drowsiness, which not only could stop you from doing your work but can be dangerous. It is also worth considering the legal implications. Would insurance cover be invalidated if it were shown you weren’t safe to undertake tasks expected of you in your job due to medication you were taking?
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach and Mentor from the UK. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.