Should You Go to Work When You’re Sick?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they get sick not being able to move out of bed let alone go to work.
With all the stress and responsibilities of our day-to-day life, it’s hard to imagine not having those days when we question our strength to go to our workplace.
Even if we work at home, if we are not feeling good we won’t be able to perform our very best, and having our laptop in our bed the whole day won’t give us the proper rest we need in order to overcome the illness we are having.
There are many different factors to consider when you’re thinking about going to work when you’re feeling sick, and rather just listing them, we will explain them one by one in order for you to determine if you can go to work or get some days off.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE GO TO WORK WHEN THEY’RE SICK?
It’s not an easy question to answer, because some people are workaholics and think that if they miss a day at the office that their whole career comes into question.
Others think if they come loaded with tissues and tea disguised as coffee in a thermos that others won’t notice they’re sick at work.
The truth is that while you can try to hide that you’re sick as much as you want, but all the coughing and sneezing will blow your cover right away and neither your colleagues nor your boss will be delighted that you’ve decided to come to work in such state of health.
This is really dangerous as others might get sick as well.
Other people don’t even have an option when coming sick to work because some companies or employers don’t offer sick leave and people who don’t have a job alternative are simply forced to work while they’re struggling with a flu or a cold.
Being in such an unhealthy environment where you are stripped away from your rights to have a few days off until you recover is a nightmare not many people can endure in the long run and can even have even worse health consequences.
Studies have shown that about four in every ten Americans go to work when they’re sick because they fear that they might lose their job and at least one-quarter of them admit to coming sick so that they don’t seem like they are weak and can’t handle a common cold.
This doesn’t make any sense because it’s natural to feel weak when having a cold and doing anything else other than resting isn’t going to help you get better anytime soon.
What’s even shocking is that this serves as evidence to prove how many people are actually workaholics and take their careers more seriously than they actually should.
THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T GO TO WORK WHEN YOU’RE SICK
1. You’ll Just Prolong Your Sickness
When you feel terrible and have a hard time getting out of bed let alone coming to work the last thing you need is a desk where you sit for hours and hours waiting for the shift to be over and coming home exhausted and feeling even worse.
Because of that, you should try to stay away from any stressful activities such as paperwork and dealing with deadlines because the more stressed you are the less your body will be able to cope with the cold or the flu you’re experiencing.
There is no reason to torture yourself, in the end, we’re humans, not machines and even machines can malfunction and not get the job done, so relax.
2. You’ll Just Make More Mistakes Than Usual
Think about it, if you feel sick, all you can think about is how to get better and you won’t be focused on your work as you would when you’re in perfect health and mistakes are inevitable.
Your boss isn’t going to be pleased with you going to work sick let alone not being able to perform your very best which will all result in you getting penalized or even fired.
The same goes if you’re working at home because it’s not possible to be focused on your work when you’re in bed the whole day.
Instead of being focused on work you should focus on how to get well soon so you can continue where you left.
3. Your Colleagues Will Hate You
No one wants to be near a person who sneezes and coughs all the time, it’s basic humans sense after all, let alone work with that kind of person who has no disregard for the health of others.
Knowing that don’t expect any compassion from your colleagues and please don’t be that person who complains how your boss doesn’t let you have sick leave.
Also, the office is a perfect place for a disease to spread as most offices are poorly ventilated which means there is a high chance you can get someone else sick too, maybe even start an epidemic at your work which will surely make your boss angry and then you’ll have no job to come back to.
The only good thing if that is to happen is that at least you’ll get proper rest.
If you work in such a place where sick leave is not an option then you should quit as soon as possible and let others who can deal with the stress of that kind of job work in peace.
I’m sorry to say that there are thousands of such jobs and cases but some people don’t have another option other than to work and hope for the best.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU MUST GO TO WORK WHEN YOU ARE SICK
If you absolutely must go to work feeling like you’re going to die on your way over there then you need to be properly prepared in order to make it through the day.
Maybe it’s an important meeting you have to attend or you have a stack of paperwork which is due tomorrow either way, you must figure out a strategy how to not collapse on your desk and end up in the hospital.
Some of the strategies you can try are:
- Taking medicine – I’m not really a fan of medicine altogether but if you really have to go to work when sick go to your local drugstore and buy something for your condition which will help you at least not pass out. Of course, it’s always better to stay at home and have proper rest, but you got to do what you got to do.
- Get cozy and drink lots of tea beforehand – Grab a nice warm sweater and warm clothes and drink tea instead of coffee before you go to work and hope for the best. Just know if you have a temperature then those warm clothes will just make you overheat and you’ll just make the problem even worse.
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol – Cigarettes and alcohol are bad for your health anyways let alone when you’re sick but if you already have these bad habits they are the last thing your body needs when it’s fighting off an illness. As far as coffee is concerned, you should avoid drinking it in high amounts as well as caffeine just raises your blood pressure and can even cause insomnia and your body is eager to have a good night sleep.
- Don’t come in contact with anyone – You should let everyone in your workplace that you’re sick so they know not to be near you so they don’t get sick as well.
- Quit your job – I know I’m repeating myself but for your own sake if you see that your job isn’t making you happy let alone giving you the opportunity to get better when you don’t feel so good then you should consider a different career path. There is nothing worth it of your health being jeopardized for a job you don’t even like that much.
These tips are just to help you go through that important meeting, but you should still call your boss to let him know that you’re sick and see if he cuts you some slack and lets you spend the day off work.
If not then I’m afraid to tell you, but you have a terrible boss.
WHAT IF YOU WORK FROM HOME
Working from home doesn’t mean that you are in a better position than someone who has to come to the office every day, because no matter what your job is you need to be in good health in order to accomplish all the tasks you’re given.
Being sick when you work at home is however better than needing to beg your boss for a sick leave but it has it’s downsides too.
Simply knowing that you have a lot of work waiting for you at your desk and actually seeing your desk from your bed is a nightmare people who work from their home know best.
Not being able to get out of bed let alone sit in your chair across the room is agitating and surely causes a feeling of dread.
Also working from home in some cases means that you have clients who expect work done by a certain deadline and there is no way to call them and tell them that you’re sick and can’t finish it in time meaning that you can potentially damage your career and reputation.
Of course, you can place your laptop on your lap while in bed but being in that position for hours will hurt your neck and back making your problem worse than it was.
If you really have work to do, I would suggest you work as much as you can, little by little, and avoid having the need to be sitting in front of your computer while sick.
The good thing about working at home is that once you get better you can immediately continue working and try to finish where you left your work at before the deadline is due and also not having to call your boss and hearing his disappointed voice is an advantage as well.
WHAT TO DO TO RECOVER QUICKLY
There is no magic spell to make you feel better instantly but knowing what you need to do in order to recover as soon as possible will surely save you some valuable time.
The thing is that you can’t determine how long the flu can last but you need to do everything in your power to get well soon enough.
If it’s a common cold or the flu, stay at home and get proper rest, drink lot’s of tea and eat a healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables which have all the beneficial vitamins and minerals your body desperately needs in order to fight off the illness.
A bowl of nice homemade chicken soup is also a great idea as the soup is great for dealing with a clogged nose and a sore throat.
Avoid physical activity but you should try and walk around the house a little so you don’t get sore muscles from laying in bed all day.
Also, remember to be cozy and warm because if you’re exposed to low temperatures your body won’t be able to cope with the cold if you spend your time in a cold room.
If you’re still feeling sick even though you’re sick leave is about to end then try to consult your boss in order to figure out what to do and see if he will let you have a day or two more off.
If not I’m sorry to say but you have to go to work, just try to have the least amount of contact with others.
DON’T AVOID THE DOCTOR
Knowing why you’re not feeling good and visiting a doctor to get a detailed examination and evaluation of your health is important before you even consider doing anything and not just going to work.
I would advise you to go to a doctor whenever you have time and as quickly as possible so you can get proper treatment in time and get better that much quicker.
Don’t think that coughing, runny nose, and high temperature are signs of the flu or common cold, you should go to a doctor’s appointment regardless.
Often times those symptoms can be linked to other illnesses or diseases, which aren’t as treatable as the common cold.
If you’ve started to feel sick at your job, go to a doctor after work or first thing in the morning and get a proper check-up to see what you’re dealing with.
If it’s just the flu you will get better in three days or a week with proper rest, but if not, you should consider getting a prolonged sick leave because illnesses which pose a serious threat to your health are no laughing matter.
BE PREPARED FOR IT
The flu season is unpredictable but if you hear in the news that it’s on the run you should know how to protect yourself from getting sick in the first place.
Don’t come into contact with anyone who you see is coughing or sneezing, wash your hands as often as possible and basically become a germaphobe.
Also, people don’t think about this but when you’re in your twenties you’re still young and vital and rarely get sick but once you get into your thirties, forties and even fifties there is a greater chance that you can get sick so it’s not a bad idea to know how your body reacts as you age.
What I’m trying to say is that no matter how cold or hot it is you should be properly dressed for a certain type of weather in order to prevent catching a cold.
If it’s going to rain bring an umbrella because being wet in combination with wind will surely result in you getting sick by the time you even reach your workplace.
If you take these simple precautions you’ll have a far less chance to get sick and won’t need to worry about all the difficulties of coming to the office with a runny nose and a pocket full of tissues.
It’s not something you can really control but at least you should try to prevent it and preserve your health.
WHAT IF YOU GET SICK OF YOUR JOB
There is no medicine, doctor or treatment known to man that can cure your dead-end job where you feel lousy and underpaid let alone make you love it and stay there for the rest of your career.
That’s why you need to know what you’re getting yourself into before you accept any kind of job.
No job is fun and easy to do, that’s why they are called jobs, otherwise, they would be called hobbies, but that doesn’t mean that you should get sick from simply coming to work.
Let’s be real, there are jobs like mining where the miners get all kinds of lung diseases because they breathe in dust constantly and it is a hard job to do, but some people have no other choice.
Every company should have regulations which concern a workers health and what happens when a worker gets sick or possibly injured, but sadly not all companies have such regulations and some that do don’t respect the rights of their workers.
From how a company or employer treats its employees to what are your basic rights as a worker, you should know how it all works and which benefits you have in order not to get yourself involved in a job that makes you not want to go there at all. It’s tough to find an ideal job but at least get one which won’t send you to the hospital.
Not to talk about how many stressful jobs actually cause illnesses related to stress because as we all know stress can be the trigger of many health conditions.
Some people never experience stress either because they love their job or just handle pressure very well, for others, it’s a death sentence.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO YOUR BOSS
Your boss should be considerate when he or she sees that you’re sick and give you a few days of sick leave because it’s better for you to have proper rest and then come back feeling much better and eager to finish the work you have left then to slack off and potentially make others sick in the process.
No boss should even allow his worker to step into the office when they’re sick so be sure to call your boss before you head off to work to avoid an awkward situation which might get your boss agitated.
It’s true that not all bosses act like this and have an understanding of their workers’ basic needs but a rational and smart employer will never let any employee come to the office loaded with tissues and with a runny nose drooling and coughing at his or her desk.
You should take this into consideration next time you apply for a job in order to prevent those kinds of situations where you’re basically forced to work when you’re sick because as we said with more stress your health can get even worse.
To summarize, avoid going to work when you’re sick if you don’t have to and instead try to get sick leave and rest at home until you get better.
If you must go to work because of an important event you should try to come and get rest after.
There are plenty of reasons not to go to work when sick but some people choose to do it regardless of all that, you certainly don’t want to be the person who contaminated the whole office just because you thought the deadline is more important than yours and other peoples’ health.
Lastly, it’s not worth it, you’re just making yourself feel even worse, not doing your job properly and could even cause others to get sick as well.
Knowing this, you should stay at home, get cozy and get a good night sleep.
For the last two years, my friend Mike has worked as a content writer for a digital advertising …
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