Calling in Sick

I hate to do it: calling in sick means a day of lost productivity, tasks not completed, projects delayed. However, it happens. We’re not immune from serious illnesses or the common cold. As I’m nursing myself through a cold, I thought I’d share some thoughts.

The Real Down Sides of Illness

Yes, if you call in sick, your work will be delayed. However, if you go into the office and keep on pushing yourself without pausing to care for yourself, several things can happen:

  • The illness will last longer.
  • You’ll spread your germs (assuming it’s a communicable illness) to others, creating delays and problems elsewhere.
  • By continuing to push yourself, you will wear yourself down and your body’s ability to rejuvenate itself.

Take Care of Yourself First

It’s better to pause and recuperate than to push and recover from something worse. You owe it to yourself and others to maintain your body as best you can.

If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? If your body isn’t 100%, odds are, your mind won’t be, either. That means any work you worried about finishing will not be done as well as it could be. A sick writer is a distracted writer.

So, no, being sick is no fun. Working while sick does little good for you or the people counting on you. Take the time.

(Note: I have some contrarian friends who will retort, “Easy for you to say, you work from home!” Or: “I don’t have any sick leave left!” Et cetera. Fine. You’ve got bills to pay. However, if you’re sick enough, your employer might send you home anyway. Better if you make the call.)

About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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