We all get sick, whether it’s sniffles or a cough, or full blown flu. We all get sick. It might just be a 24 hour thing or it may last a few days. But it is important to look after yourself when you are feeling under the weather. Not only to help you recover but to avoid passing it on to other people, this is a very important reason to me, the last thing I want to do is give my horrible sickness to other people. Not to mention, you won’t be the joyfullest person to be around, you’ll feel mopey, you’ll be demotivated and less productive.
Unlike many people, I am a firm believer in sick days. Now, I am absolutely not saying you should take a sick day every time you get the sniffles, but it is important to know when to give yourself them days off. You are in fact entitled to them and this an entitlement is recognised in many countries! When I am really struggling, I will call in sick.
Now I know there is a lot of anxiety and stress that comes with calling in sick, or at least this is what I have experienced. I have found that not many agree with people taking time off sick and judgement is definitely there. I called in sick once because I literally had not been able to get out of bed, to receive the response we need you to work. Like yeah sorry sickness doesn’t work like that. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work, I couldn’t work, but I felt guilty for calling in sick and it wasn’t a nice experience.
When you need to take a sick day, be courtesy and follow some simple rules:
- Do NOT abuse it. Don’t call in sick if your not actually sick, you will become known for being unreliable and no one will trust you.
- Contact your manager on the best way to reach them. Some companies have procedures to follow, others don’t but may prefer you to call instead of text or email.
- Contact your manager with as much notice as possible. In the past when I have been sick, I have contacted my manager, not specifically to call in sick but just to make them aware of it, that way they can arrange a back up. I try to allow 12 – 24 hours notice and if I can’t make it, there is no crazy rush to find cover. I don’t know if this is appreciated but I know if I was in the managers place, I would prefer the notice than to be shocked in the morning with a sick day.
- Be polite and professional. You don’t need to go into detail of everything that is wrong with you. Plus, your manager probably doesn’t want to know that your mucus is bright green.
- Keep them updated. If you are feeling that you aren’t getting better and need another day or may be you feel you are getting better and will be able to work, contact your manager. Let them know how you are feeling. Then they can advise you on what to do next, or provide extra cover if they need to.
Working in hospitality most of my life, I always considered it to be vital to call in sick when you need to. The last thing you want is to pass it on to a customer and them complaining that they caught an illness from you. In my first job, I got on very well with my manager, she was very realistic and understanding that people get sick. If someone called in sick she would get cover for the next 2 days, to make sure that her team member had enough time to recover without worrying about work. This stuck with me as I grew older, moved jobs and got promotions. Over a year ago, I had a team member turn up who was quite clearly not well. She had told me previously that she wasn’t feeling her best but would be fine to work. She didn’t want to leave me short because we were understaffed already. I explained to her that if she is sick then she should stay in bed but she insisted. Anyway, I sent her home and I worked a very busy lunch shift on my own. It was difficult but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even though I appreciated what she was trying to do, she was sick and work was not the place for her to recover.
More people and businesses need to be understand that people get sick and sometimes need to take a sick day. Taking sick days is the right thing to do when you really need it. Know when you need to.
Have a nice day!