Coming Into Work Sick

Tis the season of germs spreading around the office.

Managers should strongly encourage people to stay home when they are sick.  The manager doesn’t want the germs and neither do the coworkers.   Key considerations:

  • Managers need to lead by example.  If you drag yourself in when you are sick the team with think you expect them to do the same.
  • Talk about it now before people start dragging themselves in to work when they should be home in bed.  At your next team meeting ask people not to come to work sick and spread their germs around the office.
  • Make arrangements in advance to ensure that employees can access their office email and other key files from home.
  • When you call in sick, let your manager know if you have any critical deadlines or meetings so other arrangements can be made for coverage.

If you absolutely must go to work when you are sick:

  • Stay in your office or cube.  Isolate yourself as much as possible from others.
  • Do not touch phones or other things in other people’s offices.
  • Clean door knobs and other common contact points with disinfecting wipes.
  • Clean your phone, desk etc. with disinfecting wipes.

While the urge may be strong to tough it out and come in for a key meeting or special project, think about your co-workers.  It is not fair to expose them to germs.  When are you sick enough to stay home?  If you are running a fever, you should definitely stay home.  If you are coughing constantly or vomiting ,you do not belong in the office.  If you feel weak and exhausted, get some rest.  A day at home now could save you several days off later when you get worse from pushing too hard.

If you wouldn’t want to be exposed to someone who is as sick as you are, assume that no one wants to be exposed to you.  Demonstrate courtesy and respect for your colleagues by staying home.


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