Sunday, January 18, 2015

When to Show Up Sick for Work

There is a massive outbreak of illness at my place of business, and unfortunately I have been one of the ones impacted.  I'm over my bout and now healthy, but it was a lousy couple of days.

As the illness has ravaged and made its way though our company, there has been debate as to what people should do when they don't feel well.  It is surprising to see the breadth of opinions on this by our senior leaders; everything from "just stay home and rest," all the way to "I've not taken a sick day in four years, so what's your excuse?"  

The disparity of these opinions is amazing, and it should be so simple upon which to have a policy.  But, no.  As such, it is really individual leaders and their personal "policies" that ultimately determine what an individual team does.

For me, it boils down to the following:

  • The nature of my team is that they need to be able to work at odd hours, outside of the office, but with full office connectivity.  
  • Since there is nothing they can do in the office that they can't do from home, if they don't feel well, I want them to STAY HOME
  • That is all the more important at the start of their illness, when they're contagious.  I've flat out sent people home because of this with an eye toward not only protecting the rest of the team, but also myself
Granted, my policies might not work for every company or department.  I get that.  What I don't get are IT groups or department heads that won't allow external access to the business environment for no good reason.  It is 2015, people.  Get a clue.

Feel lousy?  It's great you want to come in and prove your dedication to "work."  How about you prove your dedication to your coworkers by staying home instead, huh?  

Thanks, and feel better soon.

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