With many jobs moving to virtual offices, it is easier than ever to work through a minor illness without anyone knowing. However, that isn’t always the best solution. In fact, there can be serious consequences to working when you aren’t up to the task. Before you load your custom Zoom virtual office and log into the next meeting while under the weather, consider these reasons to tell your boss how you’re really doing.
1. Honesty Is The Best Policy
If you would have called out of working at a physical office for an illness, you should be honest with your boss and do the same for a virtual role. This helps create trust and openness in the workplace. Being honest also removes any doubts employers may have about what their employees are doing at home.
2. You Need Time To Recover
You deserve the time to recover from not feeling well. Studies show that individuals who go to work when they are sick can take longer to heal and are also more likely to need additional sick days in the near future. Letting your supervisor know can take pressure off yourself, so you are able to heal without worrying about keeping up at work.
2. Be Conscious Of Your Workload
Current workloads are a significant consideration when deciding whether to call out sick. If stepping away for even a day will leave you struggling to catch up, it is often easier to push through. However, this should not put undue pressure on you to load your Google Meet virtual background extension and show up when you are sick.
Answering the following questions can help you see some of the ways that not speaking up might affect your workload:
- Will someone else automatically cover the workload?
- Will your productivity suffer if you work while under the weather?
- What will be waiting for you when you get back to your desk?
4. Make the Most of Sick Days
Depending on specific workplace PTO policies, you may be giving up unused sick days. If you have paid sick time off, that is part of your compensation package. While you shouldn’t take advantage of those days for other purposes, you should also not leave them on the table at the end of the year.
5. Support Positive Mental Health
There is a lot of pressure to go to work even when you probably shouldn’t. As a result, taking a sick day from your home office can cause guilt. However, the stress of working through an illness or fear that your supervisor will find out you weren’t working when you didn’t call in can seriously affect emotional well-being.
It is far easier to spot signs of illness when employees go to a physical office; however, you may be dealing with the same things while working from home, and no one ever finds out. Unfortunately, productivity, trust, and the quality of your work can all suffer if you forego telling your boss when you are sick. So, go ahead and install that custom Zoom background, but know that you don’t have to use it when you are not feeling well.