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You are sick. Stay at home

November 12, 2015



"It's fine, it's just a cold" is said at least once a day in my office.  That is, I mean pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY.


There are a LOT of germs in my office.


Since when did it become ok for people to come into work when they are ill?  Do they think we are going to thank them for bringing their germs in and making other people sick thus creating some kind of weird circle of spluttering and mucus?  Is it fear?  Or is it because we think that people will respect us more?


1. Have the confidence to put your health before a deadline

You are the most important person, your health is far more important than turning up to a meeting or getting that excel spreadsheet done.  


2. There is always a solution

If you have a deadline that has to be done or a meeting that you must attend, you can still work.  Technology has enabled us to be a lot more flexible in our approach to work, try requesting that you work from home for the day rather than come in, do meetings over skype.  Cleary it won't be ideal but if you can sit in your pjs with a cup of lemsip and finish the document you're writing, it's worth an ask right?


3. You are not a superhero

You're allowed to be ill, it happens, people won't think less of you.  It happens to the best of us.  As a #modernwoman we are constantly under pressure, we are constantly taking on more and more responsibilities and we are leading busier and busier lives.  Sometimes something has to give, and this shouldn't be your health.    


4. Your colleagues will thank you

We don't like getting ill.  It's as simple as that.


5. You will get better quicker

I'm not a doctor but I know that one of the things that regularly gets prescribed is rest.  I know I can't do it, I am useless at sitting still but being able to sleep in the middle of the day and relax, and frankly, spending the day in your pjs, will help you feel better quicker than getting in the car or on a tube and going to an office where you have to be friendly and polite to other people.  


6. Your boss will not lose respect for you

I can guarantee, that if your boss is a fair and regular human being (I know some aren't and for those of you who have bosses like that, sorry, I'm not sure what to suggest), your boss will be more than understanding.  


In fact, it's actually no good for the company (or the economy) as apparently the annual cost of presenteeism (when you go into work when sick) is ‘twice that of absenteeism’, says Prof Cary Cooper 


So it's no good for you, it's no good for your boss and it's no good for the country so come on guys, you're not superhuman, when you're ill, stay at home.

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