***This post was contributed and may contain affiliate links.
Calling in sick to work isn’t the most positive thing for the company or your career, but, sometimes, it’s unavoidable. When you are ill, it’s important to make wise decisions for your health first, otherwise, you could miss more work than just a day. Here is a quick guide to that challenging question: Should I stay home from work?
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If Your Illness is Contagious.
Whether you have the stomach flu, pink eye, or a cold, if your illness is easily be passed on, you should opt for a day off. After all, the office will survive without you for a day or two. But, things might go terribly wrong if you infected your co-workers. “The flu causes U.S. workers to lose up to 111 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity,” according to the CDC. Wow, that’s a lot of germs flying around!
What many don’t realize is that viruses are the most contagious in the first few days of onset. So, on the first day you get up and feel slightly ill, you are more likely to spread an illness than after a few days of suffering. You might consider going in if you don’t work directly with others and it’s just the sniffles. If you do, however, don’t touch anything you don’t have to; wash your hands frequently; use hand sanitizer, and cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough.
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If You Work Around Food, the Elderly or Children.
I know I said that you could possibly go to work with a virus in the above section, but there are some specific occasions that would not apply. If you work with food, with the elderly or children, at a health care facility or are constantly touching other people, you need to stay home. First of all, you have no way of knowing how serious your illness is and how it could affect someone with a lesser immune system. Find out what the policies are for your specific workplace and do follow them.
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If Your Stress Levels Hit the Roof.
If you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, it is possible to go to work and do your job. However, if you feel your stress levels rising beyond what you can handle, it’s time to take a break. Some signs of this might be having difficulty getting up in the morning, feeling like you’re in a downward spiral or extreme mood swings. If any ongoing symptoms concern you, consult with your physician, as well as your boss. There are labor laws put in place to allow for things like this. You won’t necessarily need long term sickness pay, but a good rest could get you back on track.
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If Your Medication is Affecting You.
Your doc just prescribed you a new med. You’ve taken it for 4 days but start to feel strange. This is a sign that something may not be right, and it could be serious. Though your doctor or pharmacist should know what to do, it is a good idea to put off work until you know for sure what is happening. This goes doubly for anyone who works around machinery, drives for work, climbs up high or deals with things that could be harmful if not done right.
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If Your Kids Are Sick Too.
It doesn’t take much for entire families to get sick all at once. If this happens, stay home from work and school to take care of each other. They need you more than work does. Also, staging a little quarantine will prevent many other people from getting sick. I remember being so frustrated when my daughter would come home from school sick every week. This was due to parents sending their kids to school when they knew they were sick. Some of these strong viruses turned into bronchitis and infections. That is not cool in my book.
Should I Stay Home from Work? Yes, If Work is Causing Your Illness.
Finally, you should absolutely stay home from work if you know or suspect that your working environment is causing your illness. Anything that affects job performance can also increase your chances of getting injured at work. Whether you’re suffering from depression because of a bullying boss, or you’re getting headaches after working with certain chemicals, it is important to remove yourself from the environment as soon as you can. After all, nothing, not even your job, is more important than your health!
Don’t worry about how you’re going to pay the bills or what you’ll do to find another job – they are all problems that can be sorted, and your family would rather have a happy, healthy mother at home, than one who dutifully attends work to her demise. Don’t forget to consult with your physician about any symptoms that concern you.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.