Cold and flu season is officially here. With the first signs of sniffles and sneezes, employees will have to decide whether or not to call in sick to work.
Unfortunately, your health isn’t the only thing impacting your decision. You may not have enough sick leave – or any sick leave – and you can’t afford to miss work. Sometimes our Midwestern work ethic makes it hard for us to ask for a day of rest. Maybe we faked sick so many times as kids we don’t even believe ourselves any more.
Whatever the case, too many employees come to work sick, putting their coworkers and customers at risk. Cold and flu season is the wrong time to be a hero. If you have these four symptoms, consider whether it’s time to email your manager.
You have a headache
No, not the kind of headache your obnoxious coworker gives you. If you have a real stress headache, you’ll feel it on the sides of your head and behind your eyes. If you have a migraine, you’ll usually feel it on one side of the head. If you wake up with your head pounding, try to determine the cause. If you think some water and medicine will take it away, you’re probably fine to go to work. If it’s more serious and you don’t think you can be productive, a day of rest can make all the difference. Listen to your body and call your doctor if you’re concerned.
Your nose is running
A runny nose is the first symptom of any number of conditions. You could be in the early stages of a cold or even the flu. It could also be allergies or a sinus infection, which while not contagious could make you into a miserable employee. If you wake up with a runny nose, evaluate how you feel. If you have other symptoms like a headache or cough, you may not be useful in the workplace.
You have a fever
While you could still be productive with a runny nose, you should absolutely stay home if you have a fever. A fever is the most common symptom of the flu and you risk infecting the rest of your coworkers. A fever is usually accompanied by chills and body aches and pains. You definitely won’t perform your work well, and you risk making yourself even sicker and having to be out longer. Do everyone a favor and stay in bed if you’re running a fever.
You have the chills
Just as you should stay home when you have a fever, chills are also a sign that it’s time to call it a day. Chills are similar to a fever in that they are a change in your body’s temperature and a sign that something is wrong. As with a fever, chills are often accompanied by body aches. You won’t get anything done if you’re shivering in pain.
Being sick is no fun, but being able to take a paid sick day is a luxury many people don’t have. If you’re looking for a new job that offers great benefits, Award Staffing can help. Check out our latest job opportunities.