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Taking Sick Leave While Working Remote

Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh Follow
May 03, 2023 · 6 mins read
Taking Sick Leave While Working Remote
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We’ve all had those days where we wake up feeling like we got hit by a truck. Our head is pounding, we’re running a fever, and our stomach is doing somersaults. But what do you do when you’re a remote worker and you’re already at home? Do you tough it out and work through the sickness?

Well, according to workplace experts, you should probably take a sick day. Even though you’re working from home, it’s important to prioritize your health and take time off to rest and recover. Many people feel guilty taking sick leave when they’re working from home because they don’t want to appear like they’re taking advantage of the situation.

But the truth is, working while sick is not productive for anyone. You’ll likely be less productive and more prone to mistakes, which could end up costing you more time in the long run. So, if you wake up feeling like death warmed over, take the day off. Your health and well-being should always come first, even if you’re a remote worker.

The Importance of Sick Leave

Taking a sick leave can be necessary for a variety of reasons, such as a broken bone, injury, or contagious illness. While traditional workplaces may require employees to take a sick day due to difficulties traveling to work, remote work provides more flexibility.

Employees can work while recovering from an illness, as long as they’re not contagious and are able to work in short spurts. But working while sick is not recommended, as it can lead to physical health decline and negatively impact mental health. Research shows that it results in negative work performance, exhaustion, and can increase the likelihood of needing to take more sick leave in the future. Additionally, it can cause stress, anxiety, and depression.

It’s important for individuals to find their own balance and determine what works best for them. However, to improve productivity, employers need to take steps to support their employees.

In short, taking sick leave is important for your physical and mental health. While working remotely can provide flexibility, it’s still important to rest and recover properly. And employers need to create an environment that supports their employees’ well-being and productivity.

How to Encourage Employees to Take Their Sick Leave

Deliver the sick leave policy

Employers need to send a clear message to their employees: if you’re sick, take the day off! If your company has a mandatory sick day policy, make sure your team is aware of it. Explain the reasons behind the policy and show how it benefits both the company and the employee.

Employers need to emphasize the importance of taking care of oneself and avoiding burnout, which can be detrimental to productivity and overall well-being.

Remember, a healthy and happy employee is a productive employee! So, let’s encourage each other to take care of ourselves and others by prioritizing sick days when necessary.

Raise awareness of physical and mental health

Employers need to prioritize the physical and mental health of their employees, especially those who work remotely. It can be tempting to ignore health concerns when you don’t have to leave your home office, but neglecting your well-being can negatively impact your work quality and productivity.

For remote workers, taking sick days is especially crucial since there’s no one else around to pick up the slack when they’re under the weather. Employers should emphasize the importance of taking time off to care for oneself, both for personal well-being and for the benefit of the entire team.

One way to promote this message is by bringing it up in a company-wide meeting that includes both remote and on-site workers. By raising awareness of the significance of taking care of oneself, employers can help ensure a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. Remember, taking care of oneself is not just important for personal well-being, but it also contributes to a better work environment for everyone.

Encourage taking regular breaks

Are you a workaholic? As a remote worker, it’s easy to get lost in the grind of your job, but it’s crucial to make time for yourself, even when you’re not feeling under the weather. We get it, you’re busy, and the last thing on your mind is taking a break. However, self-care is vital for your overall well-being, and neglecting it can lead to burnout, affecting your productivity in the long run. Remember, a rested and relaxed mind and body perform better, and that applies to all areas of life, including work. So go ahead, treat yourself to some “me time” and watch yourself shine!

As a manager make sure to set an example

Do you still feel guilty about taking a day off when you’re unwell? Don’t be! It’s essential to prioritize your health and well-being, and that includes taking a sick day when needed. But as a manager or executive, you have the added responsibility of leading by example. By taking time off when you’re not feeling your best, you’re not only showing your team that it’s okay to prioritize their health, but you’re also fostering a positive work culture.

As an employee, it’s important to understand that taking a sick day doesn’t mean you’re not committed to your career or that you’re not a professional. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Taking care of yourself means that you’re more likely to perform better in your role, and you’ll be able to show up as your best self. So go ahead, take that day off, get some rest, and come back to work recharged and ready to take on the world!

Wrapping up

With the rise of remote work, the way we take sick leave has definitely changed. But one thing remains the same: taking time off when you’re unwell is crucial for your well-being and productivity. In fact, taking a sick day can actually increase your future productivity by allowing your body to rest and heal.

So, if you’re feeling sick, don’t try to power through it. Taking a sick day is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and self-care. It’s important for employers to encourage their employees to prioritize their health by taking sick leave when needed. After all, a healthy and rested employee is more likely to perform at their best and contribute positively to the workplace. So take care of yourself, and remember that a little rest now can go a long way in the future!

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Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh
Written by Stas Kulesh
Time founder. I blog, play fretless guitar, watch Peep Show and run a digital design/dev shop in Auckland, New Zealand. Parenting too.