Dealing With Sickness On The Job

Posted by The Editors on November 16, 2011
Dealing With Sickness On The Job

Based on my last two blog posts, working from home (tissues were mentioned) and boosting energy at work, one could deduce that I haven’t been feeling well. But with no diagnosis, I trudged on at work.

Fast forward two weeks from my initial wave of exhaustion: Still tired but feeling less death-like, I’m told in the most unprofessional medical jargon that while my tests for mono aren’t completely positive, mono showed up in bloodwork. So, “rest, eat well, and get some moderate exercise. Take care of yourself.”

But now that I know there’s a reason I’ve been feeling unwell, I want to go back two weeks and spend my sick days resting in hopes that I would feel better right now.

This raises a question: Do we end up being sick longer because we don’t properly allow ourselves—and our bodies—to fight off what’s ailing us? We often don’t want to use our company-allotted sick days because we’d rather spend them on some sunny Friday when a friend is in town. Or maybe there’s a deadline coming, and we know that even if we take off one day, we’ll be working twice as hard the day before or the day after to ensure that the deadline is met. In that sense, how is it a day off of work? It’s a day of rest, but you don’t have one less day of work to do. 

Many workplaces—or departments—are deadline-oriented. Because the flu, a cold, or even mono is bound to creep up on everyone at some point in their work life, here’s what one article suggests we do to keep our deadlines.

1. Plan Ahead
Give yourself an earlier deadline so that you have built-in wiggle room: It’s a nice thought, but does anyone do this successfully? Forcing themselves to complete something when they don’t feel like it and they don’t haveto?

2. Call in Sick and Don’t Stress
Hopefully you haven’t booked a vacay that will use all of these now-needed sick days. 

3. Refer Someone Else
Easier said than done when you’re not freelancing.

4. Work Through the Sickness but Take Time off Afterwards
In my case, it looks like I might have already worked through the worst of my sickness. Maybe I’ll use the day I saved on a sunny Friday when my friend is in town—or on the next rainy Friday I’m sick.

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