When To Call Out Sick: Be Safe and Considerate

If you work in a team, they count on you to properly prepare for your shift, show up, and get your work done, so everyone can hit their collective goals. Unfortunately, calling out sick is not always avoidable. Despite the inconvenience, it’s often better for everyone if you stay home rather than try to tough it out. But how are you supposed to know when it’s bad enough to call out – or when to return? Just use this guide to figure it all out.

Are You Sick or Is It a Family Member?

Whether you feel sick or have to stay home to care for an ill family member, it’s important to consult with a doctor if you can. You can start with a call to your insurance’s nurse line to see if it’s bad enough to come in for an appointment. Either way, they will let you know if you’re potentially contagious and how to recover from the illness as quickly as possible. Contagious illnesses, like colds, flus, and COVID, all have different incubation periods, so it’s important to figure out when you’re safe to come back to work.

Is Your Health or Focus Compromised?

If you’re not feeling well, you’re not likely to have the right level of focus to do your job and do it well. The same goes for when your loved one is ill and needs you home to care for them. Even if you were to come in, you might have a hard time trying to complete your tasks. Instead, it’s better to just get through the illness and return to work with a clear head.

To recover as quickly as possible, you or your loved one may want to:

  • Eat healthy soup and stay well hydrated
  • Get as much sleep as possible
  • Gargle with warm salt water often
  • Avoid going back to normal activities too early

Taking these steps helps the immune system fight against the illness, so it’s possible to make a fast, full recovery.

Does Your Company Have a Policy for This?

When you call out sick, it’s important to pay close attention to your company policy. Depending on the rules set by HR, you may need to get a doctor’s note or have a COVID test done before you return. If you’re not sure what they expect, check with your manager or the HR department to go over the rules.

Can You Return to Work Safely?

Even if you or your loved one wakes up feeling a bit better, it might not be time to return to work. Reasons you might want to continue to stay home include:

  • Medications compromise your ability to be productive and safe on the job
  • A COVID test or other labs have not yet cleared you to return to work
  • Your nurse or doctor indicated that you are likely still contagious

Until you can return to work safely, it’s simply not wise to go back. You can ask about getting some work done from home or just rest up until you can get back on the job. You can also consider income protection, like Jobbler Protection by Kover, to help you guard against lost income due to sickness.

About the Author: Marie Abendroth is a skilled content strategist and SEO copywriter who has been a proud part of the gig economy for over 10 years. In her articles, she aims to provide up-to-date info that can help everyone achieve their goals as an independent worker. You can find her on WriterAccess.