Calling in sick is an awful experience; you’re feeling like death and you have to send a dreaded text to your boss saying you won’t be able to make it.
It usually starts off quite subtle - it’s a tickle in your throat, a sniffle and then, before you know it, the nasty bug of the office knocks you down, too. And even though your body begs you to stay home, your workload (and/or your boss) are suggesting otherwise.
So, what should you do? Take all the non-drowsy medicine you can find and suck it up or stay at home with your germs, so you don’t transmit them to your colleagues?
Yes, it is true; taking time off, especially when it’s unplanned can be tricky. So, here are a few tips to minimize that awkwardness and the dreadfulness of calling in sick.
Know the Rules
If you are working a standard 9-5, then I am guessing you have some sick days or personal time off as part of your benefits package. Even though you are allowed to take those days off, managers often discourage their employees from actually using those days- “I can’t believe Emma is taking yet another sick day.” But let’s face it: no one wants to get sick from your germs.
A trick is to know what your managers like and prefer: take note on how your colleagues or bosses react to others calling in sick. Do they bad-mouth someone as soon as they call in sick? Or do they actually feel bad for the person being sick? Be prepared, so you know how to approach your boss when you need a few days off to rest.
Test The Waters
When you’re sick you may feel it but others many not realize it at all. So, as soon as you start feeling something coming, test their reactions: say a comment about feeling a bit off. Are they sympathetic or do they start panicking about some deadlines you have coming up?
Be careful, though; don’t overdo it. Don’t be that paranoid employee who always complains about being sick. Just give them a fair warning so they know what could happen next.
If you have very specific job duties that no one else knows how to do, then you must always be prepared for the “hit by a bus” scenario, or in this case, get the flu. Of course, you can’t have a nice schedule of when you are going to get sick, however, make sure to keep a list of tasks and a compiled instruction handbook explaining how to handle your responsibilities. You can create a clear and detailed binder to put on your desk that everyone can use and share when you’re gone.
If you prepare well in advance, then there’s nothing to worry about when you do need to take a sick day off work.
Have you ever had to call in sick only to regret it a day later? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.