Sick Days While Working from Home?

Does anyone actually call in sick anymore?

I have observed something interesting.

In the old days when someone called in sick their presence was not expected nor welcomed. We left them alone to recover.

I am seeing people now fighting their way through illness while still in meetings they definitely would have missed in a on site work environment. They are clearly not well, as evidenced by sneezing and coughing into the Zoom call. But they are working.

What does that mean?

Are there really no more sick days? How are virtual schools handling snow days? I don’t even know. My kids are grown. Sort of.

Where is this going?

Have we redesigned or maybe eliminated the Sick Day we used to know? Are we entering a world of truly flexible work? And if so, in what way and to whose benefit is it flexible? Are companies supportive? Resistant?

This past week, I witnessed a senior manager not even blink an eye when she called someone, who was definitely and seriously sick, at home to discuss a business issue.

“She won’t mind…she works from home anyway.”

That’s kinda interesting. I wonder if others would mind? Or if it is even an issue? Love to hear some feedback.

If it is, I am not sure whether it is good or bad. Are we going to benefit from flexibility or become more abused by over-reaching managers.

There is zero doubt people have never worked harder since being sent home. The notion that people would mail it in or go fishing turned out to be quite false and in fact the total opposite of what has happened. Outlook does not let you hide. They can see your calendar and are filling it with Zoom calls.

With productivity gains skyrocketing, maybe there is no need to micro-manage anymore. The gains support the trust we wincingly placed in folks working remotely and undermine those that thought it would fail. Management would be wise to consider this.

I am going to make a suggestion.

Treat Sick Days now exactly the way we treated them before we were sent home. If you are sick, take the day off. You need the rest to recover.

If you manage people, and someone calls in sick, please leave them alone. Your employee is just as sick as when they did not make the trek to the office and you kinda look really bad bothering them at home.

Just saying.

Be well.



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