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Work Can Wait

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:37 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
SneezingWhen we’re healthy, a sick day sounds like heaven. We dream about waking up with a cough so that we can call in, using our raspiest voice, and announce that we are unable to work.  But when the symptoms actually appear, most of us are less than gung-ho about picking up the phone. We analyze the symptoms, trying to determine if they are worthy of a day off. Is it bronchitis or a meaningless tickle? Is it a fever or did I forget to turn down the heat? Can I survive the drive without falling asleep? Can I get through the day without stopping at the hospital on the way home? Often, we opt to go to work, saving our sick time for when we are truly ill, but when we get there, has our “I can do it” determination really been worth it?

It’s estimated that sick employees will waste 242 million hours of work this winter.  They will trudge into the office hyped up on cold meds and worn out by illness, and achieve nothing. Hours will be wasted sitting in a stupor, staring blankly at the computer screen or clicking idly on links. Heads will lull in the stalls, turning five minute bathroom breaks into twenty minute snoozes. Production will halt. And even if it doesn’t, even if the drugged and groggy achieve something, their illness will have spread through them and to others. Overworking will weaken the body and strengthen the disease and simply touching or sneezing on a communal object will spread a sickness to the un-afflicted. Bacteria and viruses will invade the office. The decision to come in will have proven far worse than taking one day off ever could have.

If you’re sick, read the signs clearly in the morning.  Certain symptoms denote a day home. Fever combined with chills, aches, headache, sore throat and congestion signal a cold or even the flu. You won’t accomplish anything at work, and if it’s the beginning of your illness, you will infect everyone around you. Take the time to sleep. Allow yourself to recover. Your body will thank you and so will your officemates.

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