We’ve all been there, the alarm goes off and something doesn’t feel right. You’ve got a case of the aches, a sledgehammer in your head, or a throat that feels like it’s been coated in sandpaper. Maybe you’ve been hit with a different bag of tricks like gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. One thing you do know is you did not wake up your normal beaming self.
Next you begin the great debate; to go to work or to call out sick? You start thinking about the tasks you need to accomplish and the back-to-back meetings scheduled for the day and try to decide if you should go into the office regardless of feeling under the weather or stay home.
The best thing to do in this situation is get to your doctor’s office. There your doctor will be able to advise you and help diagnose your symptoms.
However, if you are unable to get face time with a medical professional, here are three easy and common questions to ask yourself before you make the decision to stay home sick or head into work.
Are you contagious?
Chances are if you have a fever of 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit, chills and body aches, you’re contagious. Stay home. These are usually symptoms of influenza which can be highly contagious and your co-workers will appreciate not being on the front lines of your germ parade. If you’re experiencing nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea stay home until you’re feeling better. Do you have a contagious rash? If you’re not sure, consult a doctor before taking your rash with you to work. On the flip side, if you’ve let out a few coughs without a fever, are hung-over, or didn’t quite finish the presentation for your morning meeting, you’re probably fine and can head on into the office or out into public.
Will you be productive?
Say you do pull it together enough to get yourself to work, are you going to get anything done in between the wheezing, sneezing and coughing all over your fellow co-workers? If you’re physically present, but too sick to focus on accomplishing any of the day’s tasks, stay home. You don’t need to be a hero.
Are you a danger to yourself or others?
Good examples of this are if you’re a pilot or a bus driver with a balance and concentration affecting earache or you’re on medication that is making you groggy and unable to perform normal tasks safely. In these types of situations you should look out for yourself and others by staying home. You’re also putting yourself at risk by going to work sick. This can cause your symptoms to worsen or extend your recovery time.
Once you start to feel better and head back to work be sure to wash your hands frequently and give your desk a good cleaning with disinfectant wipes to avoid a re-lapse.