Deciding to go into work when you are not feeling well may depend on your income. Those worried about not being paid for a day off may go into the office and spread their sickness to co-workers. If company policy rewards those with “perfect attendance,” it might be sending a message that an employee is EXPECTED to be at work, regardless of personal issues. I encourage my clients to stay away from that policy, unless there is a provision to allow 3-4 days off per year as exceptions. (FMLA will also impact those policies.)
If you find yourself in the office and feeling sick, try to think about your coworkers: Watch how you sneeze, and where you blow that snotty nose. Wash your hands frequently, cough into the crook of your elbow, and go to the restroom to blow your nose.
So, you’re OK, but you are surrounded by sick coworkers? When possible, the CDC tells us to “Stay at least 6 feet away from sick people when possible.” Think about avoiding closed-door meetings or large events with groups of people. Consider other ways to participate in office happenings; conference calls, video chats, and even perhaps postponing events.
Find some great thoughts on Office-Sickies from Kayleen Schaefer, Bloomberg Businessweek.
Should I get a Flu Shot? If your company offers free Flu Shots, take advantage of them. If the company doesn’t, talk with Human Resources about making that offer. Put up posters around the office to help employees recognize the symptoms – a fever, chills, or sweats means it is advisable to stay home.
So, as an employee, pay attention to your own health. As a leader, tell your employees to stay home when they are sick. As an organization, let people know they are hurting themselves, their coworkers, and costing the company when they cough, sneeze, and spread germs in the office.
I help organizations answer their People concerns before they become BIG, EXPENSIVE DEALS. Call 404-791-7454 or email Steve.Lovig@gmail.com for a FREE appraisal.