Fast Company

Sick Daze

With the flu vaccine shortage and more companies moving to paid time off plans, it'll be interesting to see how the coming winter affects the health of our colleagues -- and offices.

While not as virulent as, say, a grade school, sick co-workers breed more sick co-workers, and as much as we might be tempted to tough it out in order to make deadlines and good on our commitments, sometimes the best thing to do is call in sick. In fact, Newsday reports that some leaders have taken to insisting that people go -- or stay -- home in order to stem the tide of communicable ailments.

It's a good stand to take -- and one that requires backing up. We cannot tell people to stay home if sick -- and then not cover their backs on projects and deadlines, continuing to hold them accountable. Our systems and processes need to absorb the workload and responsibilities in order to give those who need time to heal the time they need.

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2 Comments

  • Phil

    This reminds me of an interesting article about the general unhealthiness of your office desk. It is due to eating at the table and not keeping your table clean (ie wiped down). Your keyboard and mouse are one the worst items on your table because they are touched all the time.

  • Shannon Scott

    I agree completely. This should be the case all the time, not just during flu season.

    I worked with someone once who was very proud of her "perfect" attendance record. I sat next to her for 3 days in a training class while she suffered through an illness. The illness turned out to be strep throat. Me and at least 10 other people wound up sick as dogs (and wisely stayed home). You don't have to be a finance whiz to see the cost.