My poor buddy Ben is sick. He should be at home, but being the trooper he is, he is here at work. He is stuffed up, coughing profusely and continuously, he sounds miserable, and yet, he is here, sharing his germs with me! I ask him why, tell him he should be home resting, and his response is, "It's so boring just laying around!"

I get it. He loves his job and no one wants to use their PTO for sick days. But when I'm truly sick, I would never come to work unless there was no one else capable of doing it. I am more about not sharing whatever has changed me into a coughing, sniffing, oozing, snotgurgling pile of humanity, with everyone at work!

So with regards to this situation, I went looking for some common sense reasons which should tell you if you are too sick to go to work.

  • You're the most contagious before you truly feel sick - If you go to bed feeling slightly ill and wake up feeling worse, that is the day to stay home. Apparently, you're less contagious when you feel really awful. (Maybe that is why Ben is here. Although I doubt he actually knows this). And besides, if you feel awful, how much work will you get done?
  • If you wake up with a headache - You could be well on your way to a cold or the flu, especially if you're also feeling congested, achy, or feverish.
  • You're sicker than you think you are - A lot of people think if they don't have a fever, they're not that ill, but that is not always a good indicator. If you're feeling weak, confused and nauseous, these would be good indicators that you need bed rest at the very least and perhaps even a trip to your doctor's office.
  • If your kids are sick & you're feeling under the weather, stay home together - You'll be doing a lot of people a favor. Keeping yourselves away from others for even one day will be cutting down on the opportunities for spreading germs around.
  • You work at a "non-sick friendly" workplace - If you work directly with the public or in food service, you should know that coughing, sneezing and sniffling, just aren't acceptable.

For more common sense thoughts on staying home when you're ill, check out Everyday Health or Web MD.

Sources: Everyday Health and Web MD


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