Take Two Aspirin and Stay Home

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If you’re going into the office even though you’re sick, you’re just like 90 percent of employees who go into work even when they are feeling sick. It could be love of the job, dedication or fear of being out of the office and not missed at all. Whatever drives you, you probably think you’re some kind of a hero for coming in to work. Your co-workers, however, would be happier if you just stayed home and kept your germs with you.

With the Internet and PCAnywhere, you can be sick and still log in to the server. One of the things most companies haven’t done away with is vacation or sick leave, or a combination they call Paid-Time-Off. You can be sick, stay home and still get paid. So why the uncontrollable urge to go to work and make everyone else miserable?

With fewer people to do the work, some employers put pressure on sick employees to come to work. Some companies that are open 24/7, like hospitality, food service or some manufacturing companies, can’t afford to have too many people call in sick. There are even penalties for employees who stay out too long or don’t have a doctor’s note. 

Glassdoor suggests employers have to make it OK for employees to stay home when they are sick. In fact, they should encourage it. Even mandate it. In order to show employees it’s really OK to stay home, managers need to do the same. Some managers feel they are too essential to stay home. The fact Is, most companies can do better when the manager stays home than when the front-line workers are absent. 

With remote access by Internet blurring the lines for being at work, companies need to have clear policies for workers who are sick. A Business Insider article suggests three situations. First, if you’ve got a slight cold and are otherwise feeling good, come to work. If you’re feeling bad and may be contagious, employees should stay home and take advantage of sick leave or PTO. Employees don’t get paid if they’re home sick, but many can work from home, keeping the germs at home while still logging in payable hours. Just have employees log in from home (if possible) and record all time worked. 

The third scenario is for those who are really sick—running a fever or battling a serious case of the flu or some other illness. Stay in bed, take your medication, rest and follow doctor’s order. The cost of not taking care of yourself could be a trip to the ER or hospital. 

If 90 percent of employees come into work sick, that leaves only 10 percent of the employee population reasonable and considerate enough to make the decision to stay home. It may not be easy, but being in this minority group can be a rational and healthy decision to make for yourself and your co-workers.


Photo source: Freedigitalphotos.net


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