Should You Continue Working When You Are Sick?

Many of us go to work even when we are sick. In fact, one study found that 90% of Americans admitted coming to work sick on occasion. 

There are many reasons why people go to work sick. It could be due to lack of sick pay, fear of punishment for absence or simply determination to keep up with one’s workload. 

There are instances where work can still be carried out when ill or injured. However, there are other cases where it can be harmful to go to work sick. This post lists a few of the important things you should consider before going to work while sick. 

Will working make your health worse?

Certain types of manual labor could aggravate injuries or result in increased nausea and fatigue. Meanwhile, even tasks like using a computer screen could make a headache or nausea worse. It’s important to avoid any work tasks that could make you more ill or get in the way of your recovery.

Of course, if you’ve got an ankle fracture, working at a computer may not have any negative impact on your recovery – and therefore it may still be fine to work. 

Does your illness affect your work performance?

It’s also not wise to work if your illness or injury has a negative impact on your work performance. Certain illnesses may negatively impact your ability to concentrate which may lead to more mistakes.You could also find that you’re slower or that you cannot perform certain important physical tasks accurately. 

Only continue working if you are able to put in the same quality performance. It’s possible that you may be able to take on reduced responsibilities or work less hours so that you’re not overexerting yourself and affecting your performance.

Is there a risk of making others sick?

If your illness is contagious, it may not be a good idea to work in an environment where you can infect colleagues or customers. You should particularly avoid working in the food industry when sick as there can be a real risk of contamination.

Of course, you may be able to do your job without any physical contact with any other people and no risk of contaminating products. Some office jobs may also have the option of working remotely when you are sick, providing that you can still put in the same performance. 

Are you entitled to compensation?

If you are entitled to compensation as a result of an injury or sickness caused by someone else, this could be another good reason to not go into work. Your compensation will help to pay for any time off necessary to recover. Of course, you’ll likely need to seek help from a law firm such as Redlich’s Injury Lawyers. In other cases, you may be able to seek compensation via insurance – an employer should be able to offer worker’s compensation insurance in the event of a work injury.

If you made yourself sick or injured, you may not be eligible for any compensation. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take any time off, but you should be more careful about how much time you take off.

Are you entitled to sick pay?

If you are sick and entitled to sick pay, you should take advantage of this. This can provide you with some income to fund yourself while sick.

If you aren’t entitled to sick pay and are financially struggling, there may be other forms of funding that you can look into such as charity funding or low-interest loans. Do not keep working because you feel that you cannot afford to take time off as there are always solutions.