Life before the pandemic feels like a fever dream, but one reality that Americans are struggling to get back are sick days. Sick days are a necessary work benefit, whether it’s for yourself or to tend to your sick children. Since remote work has taken over, fewer Americans are taking sick days.
A common thought could be that fewer Americans are getting sick because they are not working in the office and wearing masks in public places. It could definitely be a possibility, but a recent discovery found people are now choosing to work while sick.
Usually, if you woke up with a scratchy throat or a runny nose, it was protocol to call out of work to rest up to prevent everyone else from getting sick. Now that your office is in the comfort of your home, people feel more obligated to work through their sickness.
It is safer to work from home when sick to prevent the spread of viruses, but it takes a toll on productivity. If you feel under the weather, it will take more energy to complete your work and hinder your effectiveness. When you are feeling sick, you should do your best to listen to your body and take the time you need.
If you are sick, it takes longer to recover when you put your mind and body under stress, and an example of that is work. Especially in the American job force, there is pressure to push through and continue to work.
Companies should make it known to their employees that if they are sick, they can absolutely use their sick days, even if they are working from home. Whether you are in the office or at home, if sick days are a part of your benefits, you should use them when necessary.
Do your best not to listen to the guilt of being accessible. It is easy to feel like you should work when you can easily pick up your laptop to work when you are not feeling well. The work will get done, and it will be even better when you feel 100%.
Overall, listen to your body and take care of yourself. We are still learning to navigate the world post-covid and the remote work lifestyle, so take it to step by step. Use your sick days when you aren’t feeling well, and if you aren’t sure if you should take one, this is your sign! Stay happy and healthy!