Are you feeling feverish and sick and you have a looming deadline you need to meet up at work? Here are questions to ask yourself about whether to call in sick or not—and how to do it.
Are you contagious?
You’ve got a tight deadline and having to stay home in bed is the last thing you need right now. Although you may want to be in the office, your coworkers may feel differently about having you there. If you’re contagious, calling in sick to work is the way to go.
Who knows how many more employees will be faced with missing time from work as a result of the co-worker who refuses to admit that they’re contagious?” For those working with customers, the need to stay at home becomes even more pressing.
So when are you contagious? Some warning signs include nausea or diarrhea; excessive mucus production, red and crusty eyes, achy joints, and fever.
Can you do your job?
Even if you don’t meet all the warning signs of being contagious, sometimes you feel bad enough that you aren’t able to perform your job well. When you’re sick, quality and attention to detail often suffers, and productivity declines. By taking the sick day, you are allowing your body time to recover, which will help you get back to health (and productivity) faster.
Are you *really* sick?
Sick days seem to mostly happen on Fridays and Mondays….Very curious, isn’t it? Usually when an employee calls in sick, the employee is on the honour system to be truthful about his or her illness. If you attempt to abuse the system, chances are, your boss will know—and chances are he or she has heard all the calling in sick excuses.
More often than not, your boss will know when you call in and you’re not being truthful. Your boss has been managing sick employees for years and he or she can spot a fake call a mile away. If your boss is on to you, you can expect a reprimand at best—and losing your job at worst.
To call or not to call?
There’s a lot of conflicting advice about whether a phone call is necessary when calling in, or if email is sufficient. If you’re unsure, you can always look to your employee handbook, or ask your boss upfront what works best for him or her.
If your employee handbook is silent, and you never got around to asking your boss, though, what to do? You can follow up an email with a phone call once the day starts.