Posted by Cynthia Kong on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 00:00
With cold and flu season upon us, the idea that work is “making you sick” takes on a whole different meaning. According to an OfficeTeam survey, 70 percent of professionals admitted they frequently go to work when they're feeling sick. That means it's not unlikely that Bob in the cube next to you and Mary down the hall could be coughing up a storm, blowing their noses and spreading nasty germs as we speak.
Feeling sick in the morning
We've all been in the situation where we wake up in the morning feeling sick and have to make the decision of whether we go into the office or stay home. We may think we'll "take one for the team" and just muster up the strength to go to work because we don't want to fall behind or burden colleagues who will need to pick up the slack. Going in when you're under the weather will show dedication and impress the boss, right? Not necessarily.
Sometimes employees are also reluctant to stay home when ill because they don't want to have to use their paid time off, or they don't have paid sick time.
It can be a tough call about whether or not to head into work when feeling sick, especially if you're not feeling that bad. However, your boss and coworkers will probably thank you for keeping your germs at home.
You could inadvertently get your colleagues sick if you go the office when ill. Also, coming to the office when you’re sick may delay your recovery time, further impacting the department’s productivity. And let's admit it, when you're under the weather, you also tend to lack motivation and be less productive anyways.
Working from home may be an option
Luckily, many managers do encourage staff to stay home when they’re sick. And companies often also allow employees to work from home if they're feeling well enough to tackle assignments but want to spare colleagues of any germs.
If you're a hypochondriac like me, you've already popped a few vitamin C tablets and slathered on the hand sanitizer while reading this post.
For those worried about catching a cold from a coworker, don't forget to also wash your hands frequently and try to keep your distance from anyone who is feeling sick. In addition, be a good team member by encouraging sick colleagues to stay home and letting them know that you're happy to help them with projects while they're out. This is a win for everyone, and that person is likely to return the favor if you ever need it.
Here's to staying healthy this cold and flu season!