Randstad Canada HR Blog

Feeling sick? 5 things to consider before going to work.

Posted by James Rubec on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

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You wake up feeling groggy, your throat hurts and your nose is running and every time you sneeze your get a shooting pain down your spine and leg – should you go to work?

A rule to follow is if you have to ask, then the answer is no.

Lots of press has been made of governments and organizations cracking down on sick days, but what they are missing is that people staying home is wise, conscientious and in the long term a cost saver.

1. Can your job be done at home? Think about it this way, if a workplace is judging people solely based on their attendance, they are doing it wrong. It is another thing entirely if you work with your hands; you truly need to be there as your attendance is required for the completion of work. Reasons not to go are if you’re actively contagious, groggy to the point of impairment or if what is ailing you will prevent you from effectively completing work in a remote location – things like a stomach illness.

2. Do you have a loud cough? People can have a cough for many different reasons, if you’re cough is distracting you should absolutely stay home, if your cough persists loudly for more than a couple of days go to the doctor! Coughs can expel contagious materials and can reduce the work efficiency of an entire team. Take a day or two off let whatever it is that’s affecting you run its course.


3. Is your lifestyle damaging your credibility? Some people stay up late playing video games, other people imbibe too much in the evenings. If you’re running into work, 30-minutes late exhausted and your productivity is slagging, consider taking a day off, recuperating and assessing your habits. It is better to take a day to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and what you should do differently than burning the candle at both ends for pleasure and productivity. Work life balance needs to balance both ways.

4. Are you in serious pain? What I mean by pain, is persistent unceasing agony. Tooth pain can be terrible unless you get yourself treated; the same goes for untreated injuries or illnesses like ulcers. If you need to take a couple of days off to get diagnosed, or treated take the time – don’t wait. Pain is your body’s way of tell you that something is wrong. Listen to it and fix the problems.

5. Is what you have contagious? This is a hard thing to tell on your own, most people can tell the difference from a cold and the flu but what about a chest cough and a strep-infection? If you have a fever, or you are vomitus stay home. If you’re on antibiotics safe bet you should be home until your more aggressive symptoms subside.

How do you fight the common cold? Let us know @RandstadCanada.


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