Being sick is terrible. The act of calling into work sick might actually be worse. There's the fear that your boss would think you're faking it (considering 81 per cent of full-time works have "chucked a sickie", who can blame them?). You also have to worry about your co-workers resenting you for putting more work on their plate. If you're genuinely sick, here are a few tips to call in sick without ruining your work reputation.
Sick office worker image from Shutterstock
You shouldn't have to feel bad for taking a day off to convalesce when you're ill. You won't be functioning optimally at work anyway and by staying at home, you'll avoid spreading your disease to your co-workers. But there is a stigma associated with calling in sick because there are people who do feign illness just to get out of work. Absenteeism has allegedly cost Australian businesses $33 billion in lost productivity last year so it's no wonder employers are extra cautious about employees taking sick days.
The Naked CEO recommends taking the following measures to avoid tarnishing your image as a responsible employee:
- Understand expectations It's your responsibility to know what is expected of you in an event that you are unwell and cannot go into the office. Do you need a medical certificate? How does your manager prefer to be contacted? You need to seek clarity beforehand on those things.
- Call in ASAP Let your managers or colleagues know as soon as possible that you can't come in so they can make arrangements to cover your work. You should do this at least an hour before you're due to start work. If you have scheduled meetings on that day, you should also endeavour to let participants know you're unwell.
- Apologise and say thank you You may have inconvenienced the people at your work by taking leave (even though you can't really help it) so do apologise for it and do thank those who had to cover for you once you return to work.
If you're really unwell, you shouldn't be afraid to take a day off. Taking the necessary steps when you call in sick will help avoid misunderstandings from your boss and co-workers.
[Via The Naked CEO]