Sick Days & Working From Home….The Cure Of The Common Cold

Our issues are similar; employees using the work from home scenario are key trusted management employees that also need to be at our office to direct staff. Try to stay away from these irritants if you can. Jim Schwartz is on the money, too, when he allocates responsibility equally to the managers. If this is the case, then you will have to find ways to take care of yourself even while working. In order to be effective at work, you will have to be kind to yourself. Leaders Drive Organizational Culture [poll results]. But again this comes full circle and I question the recruitment process.

By introducing a culture where ‘working from home’ is accepted you essentially open the door for workers to work from home when feeling a little under the weather instead of calling a full wash out sick day.

Company Benefits

It is important to stay hydrated when you are sick. But sometimes we need caffeine in order to get through a workday when we are under the weather. Feel free to indulge in the occasional cup of coffee to get through this tough time, but be sure that you are drinking water as well.

Drink 3 cups of water for every cup of coffee you have. If you are working from home, let yourself take a nap every now and again. Use naps as a reward to treat yourself when you accomplish an important task. Make a schedule for your return. If you are working from home or only working a half-day while you are sick, take a few minutes to organize your return to full-time work.

Make a list of the most important tasks that you will have to accomplish, and begin to envision how you will accomplish these. Set a reasonable schedule to make sure that you catch up on what you might have missed during your illness. Use rewards for finishing goals each day.

Treat yourself with comfort foods, hot beverages, naps, or your favorite movie to watch while sick. Feel proud that you could accomplish so much, even during your illness. Consider alternative forms of productivity. Perhaps you feel too ill to accomplish your tasks for work or school.

Your brain might be too sluggish, or perhaps you cannot even get yourself out of the house. If you are feeling so poorly that you cannot focus on work, let yourself be productive in other ways. Maybe you can catch up on sleep, which will make you more effective when you return to the office. Think about other ways that you can be productive, even if you are too ill to focus on your job.

Take care of yourself. In order to be effective at work, you will have to be kind to yourself. Try to make yourself feel as good as possible before heading in to work. Alleviating your symptoms might not speed up your recovery time, but you will feel more like yourself.

Moreover, you will be more capable of meeting the demands of the day. Many of the ways to alleviate your symptoms involve specific medications, supplies, foods, and beverages. You might have to plan a trip to a local drugstore or grocery store in order to stock up on these supplies if you don't have them handy. Consider asking a friend or family member to pick up these supplies for you if you are too under the weather to leave the house.

The most important key to recovering and feeling better is staying sufficiently hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. It is also a good idea to have a good supply of hot tea nearby: An over-the-counter saline nasal spray can help when you have a stuffy nose, sinus headache, or seasonal allergies. Nasal spray helps your body to flush out mucus and allergens, which will help you clear your head. Nasal spray can also help soothe your nose if it feels dry and irritated during a cold.

You will likely have to blow your nose immediately after using the spray. Suck on ice cubes. Ice cubes can help numb and soothe a sore throat.

They are also an excellent way to keep hydrated if your throat is feeling too ragged to take full swallows. Many symptoms of common illnesses can be soothed with over-the-counter medications.

For example, cough drops and syrups, decongestants, pain relievers, and anti-nausea medications can all be purchased without a prescription from your doctor. Even over-the-counter medications can cause side effects: Avoid irritants such as smoke.

Many illnesses are exacerbated by irritants in the environment such as smoke or chemical scents. Try to stay away from these irritants if you can. For example, do not hang out in a breakroom if smokers use it for their cigarette breaks. Stick to clean, controlled environments. A vaporizer or humidifier can help a sick person breathe normally and can help break up nasal blockages.

Breathing in wet, humid air also keeps the mucus membranes lubricated, which allows the body to fight infection more effectively.

Eat healthy, comforting foods. Sometimes illness can make you feel less hungry than usual. However, your immune system requires nutritious food in order to have the energy to fight infection. Try to eat nutritious, comforting foods such as broths and soups.

These foods also help keep you hydrated, which is essential when you are sick. Take a hot shower. Before you head in to work, take a hot, steamy shower. You will ease your aches and cramps, and the steam will help to clear your head.

But if you have cold symptoms along with an earache , you might spread it to someone else during the first 2 to 3 days. For in-depth information, see Earache: Cold or Ear Infection?

If you have pain around your eyes , top of the forehead, cheekbones, and even the top of your teeth , it may be a sign you've got a sinus infection. Go ahead and call in sick. The next day, you'll probably be able to go to work, since it usually isn't contagious.

If you're very sick or your symptoms get worse after a week, call your doctor. If you wake up with a headache , it may be a cold or flu, especially if you have other symptoms such as sneezing , stuffy nose, and body aches. You may need to stay home a day or two while you're most contagious and feel the worst. If you have a headache and can't handle noise or light, you may have a migraine and shouldn't be at work.

If this is something that happens to you again and again, see a doctor. There are medications that can help. If your eye is red with creamy white or yellow stuff in the corners -- and your eyelashes get matted -- you probably have pinkeye. It can spread easily to others, so don't go to work. Call your doctor to see if you need to get it treated with an antibiotic.

Make sure you wash your hands often so you don't infect anyone else. Take stock of your symptoms and see if they meet this commonsense standard for calling in sick: Sniffling If you've the sniffles, but you're not achy or feverish and feel fine otherwise, you probably have allergies. Chills and Sweats If your clothes are getting drenched, you most likely have a fever.

I took the time to get to know the office-based team, take meetings with my boss and the other executives, and after that week was over I found that communication with everyone had improved and my ideas were being solicited.

During my last 2. I also got some amazing work assignments, a great promotion and raise, and some challenging and enriching projects to manage during that period. During my last 1. I can honestly say that those 1. During my first year of relative isolation mentioned above, I pretty much worked "to the clock. Once I became an engaged employee, I stopped looking at the clock and would work to my projects.

Sometimes I worked 60 hrs a week, sometimes I worked In most states, the definition of an exempt employee often says something to the effect that if the work gets done then the hours don't matter, and that was how I worked. I more often worked hr weeks than 40 hr weeks and, for me, the real danger was burn out.

Fortunately my manager recognized that and worked with me to ensure that I got sufficient down time to stay healthy. By comparison, during the times that I would visit the office, my production usually plummeted because I could hear other staff having distracting personal calls, or standing in the cubeways visiting, or stopping by my cube for a visit, and to keep my projects on schedule I would go back to my lodging and work in the evenings, too.

In the end, it was much less of a distraction and much more productive for me to be working at my home office and occasionally changing a load of laundry during the week than to be at the office with unscheduled interruptions and regular break times.

Having a real home office setup is important for me. Here are my essentials: My first company provided all of those things to me, my current organization does not and I pay for everything. Keith is also right on about the "fairness" issue. At the accounting firm we had a specific telecommuting policy that allowed any staff member to apply to work remotely and the decision would be made by the manager with the staff person based on the appropriateness of the person's job function and professional development.

The managerial review process took care of the fairness issue. I hope this summary of my experience helps you understand the requirements for having successful remote workers. Because of the projects I managed, I was pretty involved in many of the administrative details of the accounting firm, so I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about how specific aspects of the situation were handled.

I love working remotely and, when appropriately managed, it really can boost a company's bottom line by reducing facilities costs and increasing staff productivity. I myself try to do everything in the office so I don't have to think about work on my personal time. However, this last winter of snowstorm in my home town made me realized the importance to keep such a policy open. When you allow the work from home option at work, you are going to make sure the infrastructure supports that policy.

That infrastructure will help in the case of business continuity such as the traffic issue in the snowstorm we have experienced. On a side note, my experience on why this doesn't work tend to be that companies haven't let it run it's course long enough. Just like any new product out in the market, there are going to be some wrinkles that need to be ironed out. A lot of times it really depends on how much the parties involved are willing to stand behind it. This discussion raises some additional considerations from a risk management perspective, whether the remote work is done because of an unusual situation child sick or as the standard work location.

If the work is done using a computer, and particularly the internet, what security is present on the employee's personal system? Is it as comprehensive as at the work location? Do other people use the same computer, and are they as conscientious about not visiting "dangerous" sites as the employee hopefully is? Is it possible the employee will save their work on a CD or flash drive and bring an infection into the company when they load their files to their work PC?

Will the work be done using a wifi set-up? If so, will it be done at home or at a coffee shop? Is the coffee shop's wifi set-up secure? Is there a wifi next door that reaches into the coffee shop's premises and is used to "steal" sensitive information such as passwords, credit card information, or other personal information? Will the employee have sensitive personal data?

Will it be on a laptop, which is easy to lose or steal? In some cases, I understand that working from a non-company location can destroy the confidentiality protections that exist for an employee's work when done within the company's computer network. This can apply to both attorney-client privileged discussions as well as sensitive discussions about product development and "trade secrets. Depending on the type of work the remote-worker performs, it might be a good idea to consult with an attorney on these these types of issues.

One last unrelated comment. It should be made very clear to everyone what the corporate policy is. If each manager can choose how and when to allow working offsite, then each manager should also make very clear - and be consistent about the application - the circumstances when off-site working will be allowed in their department.

A muddled policy at either level can create just as much resentment as an inflexible program. You raise good issues, Debra.

Fortunately, the state of technology today has advanced to the point where there are effective, economic solutions to all of them. For example, at the accounting firm that I worked at, we implemented a VPN that exceeded even normal in-office security protocols.

Our laptops were configured to not allow copy or download of client data from our document management system, we had all client email routed through a secure system that pulled out all attachments and uploaded them to the DMS first, etc. And, of course, the laptops provided by the company were never used for personal activities or by family members - needless to say, that was the most challenging policy to enforce, but that's why a company is selective in which level of employee may be allowed to telecommute.

So, in summ, it can be done, and it can be done safely - a company just needs to be willing to do the research and make the investment to ensure proper security on off-site equipment.

My husband works from home full time gave up his 4 hour commute as his company offered a full time work from home option. Guess what he does with this time, work more and has out performed his goals consistently for the past 3 years.

Initially their company started this to retain their women employees who had gone on maternity leave and requested for a flex arrangement, they found a spike in performance from all these employees that worked from home. Bottom line its the best thing ever to balance your life. My company allows work from home in extreme weather conditions and am very thankful for this. If you want a happy workforce this is the way to go. We had line employees working from home. For HIPAA privacy concerns we brought everyone in-house and found that productivity soared, no more people were sighted at the mall etc.

Our company is the exact same scenario as the gentleman Steve Belnap Feb that began this post. Our issues are similar; employees using the work from home scenario are key trusted management employees that also need to be at our office to direct staff. Since they began working from home it has become more frequent. As a result other less productive employees feel they have the right to do the same. One thought was banking work from home days, say 1 per quarter if they obtain perfect attendance for that previous quarter.

If anyone has other ideas One other issue that hasn't been raised here is the issue that surrounds worker's compensation issues. If the person working from home, trips and falls, and your policy says no work from home, you might run into an issue with your WC insurer.

Chills and Sweats

While these are legitimate reasons, being sick in the office generally creates more issues, such as producing substandard work, or spreading the flu to others. Choosing to work from home when ill enables employees to work on getting better while not falling too far behind in their duties. The question: Last week a member of staff called in sick, then sent an email telling us he was working from home while unwell. I don't know if the employee felt obliged to work or not. Common Cold: Too Sick to Work? In this Article In this Article In this Article. Sniffling; You may need to stay home a day or two while you're most contagious and feel the worst.