Oct 8, 201208:16 AMIn Her View

Business Insights & Inspiration

Too Sick to Work?

Too Sick to Work?


Sneezing, wheezing, coughing – you’re spreading germs, so stay home.

The air has turned cooler, the leaves are turning vibrant colors I love this time of year!  I enjoy the beautiful changes that signal a gentle shift in the seasons.  We get to change ourwardrobes – deeper, richer textures, exciting new patterns and colors.  We get to change our make-up (who doesn’t want a new lipcolor?), we get to pull out those sharp new boots we’ve been dying to wear.  The one thing that I don’t welcome is the cold and flu season that also seem to hit this time of year.  

As I write this letter,  my husband is home sick, numerous clients, friends are suffering from cold, flu, bronchitis - you name it, it seems to be out there.  So it is only appropriate to talk about “sickness etiquette” and strategize how we can make the work place healthier for everyone.

What should you take into account when deciding whether you’re too sick to work?

Can you carry out your work duties? If you’re feeling sick, you’re going to have a difficult time functioning & performing at your normal level.

Are you contagious? If you have a virus and/or bacterial infection, you will expose your coworkers.  Staying home when you’re infectious helps to curb the germs & of course is courteous to others.

Are you taking medications that could impair your ability to think, work or drive? If you’re so sick that you’re using opiates or controlled substance to control pain, you really need to stay home.  You shouldn’t be driving & your performance will be impaired.

Do you have a “work from home” plan in place?

Management will have to approve any work from home situations of course but it only makes sense to have a plan in place as an option for people who are sick but functional.

As long as the person’s contribution that day is obvious.  So for example recovering from minor surgery permits you to work from home to accomplish priorities & get paid rather than take sick leave.

At the office be thoughtful of others.  Please don’t leave used tissues lying around, dispose of them immediately. If possible blowing one’s nose in private & then washing your hands.  Ask HR department to have hand sanitizers installed in the restrooms & of course keep one at your desk.  According to one recent study, there are more germs on the keys of an  ATM machine than on a toilet seat in a public restroom –yuck!

Be especially diligent about keeping your work space clean-your personal keyboard, phone, handles on drawers, etc.

Cover your mouth when you cough, germs are air bourne & of course wash your hands each time.

 In this modern world when diseases are spread wider & easier, it is only practical to facilitate healthier work environments. Your associates and coworkers will thankyou for protecting THEIR well being and of course it is the best  example of being thoughtful and courteous to others.

What are your thoughts about people coming to work sick?

Can you share some of the worse case situations?

Look forward to getting your feedback!!!

Be well, stay healthy.

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