Sickness bug season – How to call in sick…

call in sick

That time of year is rolling around again. The clocks go back, the cold weather creeps in, and the office becomes a petri dish of winter sickness bugs you struggle to fight off. We’ve all been there. Lying in bed too ill to head in to work practising your “sick voice” to get it just right. Too croaky and it sounds forced. Too normal and it sounds like your skiving. Well believe it or not, how your voice sounds is not the only thing you should consider when calling in sick for work…

Don’t spread the pain..

Let start with whether you should call in sick at all. There are certainly instances where calling in sick is the wrong thing to do (a hangover from boozing on a school night springs to mind), but when you are genuinely ill you should not feel obligated or pressured to brave the workday. You may feel like a hero for struggling your way into work however your colleagues may think differently, especially when you are responsible for decimating the workforce by sneezing your disgusting germs all over the place. For the sake of your own and everyone else’s health stay at home!

To text or not to text, that is the question…

The procedure for notifying your employer of sickness will obviously vary depending upon the organisation and the policies in place, therefore the best course of action would be to get to know this prior to ever needing to call in sick. Check with HR or ask your boss directly. Some employers may be happy with an early morning text however many employers would expect a phone call as a necessity. If you are unsure of the procedure we would recommend sending an initial email with a follow up phone call to cover all the bases.

Be flexible…

Maybe you’re at that critical level of sickness when you’re well enough to work but still unable to commute in or you may be at risk of spreading your illness to others. Depending on your job, you can offer a degree of flexibility here. Offer to work from home, or if it’s a possibility you can do some flexi-time to help your employers. This will also help you ease back into work without having a huge backlog to get through on your return to the office.

Give as much information as possible…

You might be missing an important meeting or there’s a deadline which needs to be pushed back due to your illness. Whatever the implication of your absence, let your employer know as much as possible. Let your boss and your team know if there is any information they will need to know that day and keep others from struggling in your absence.

Getting well should be your focus, not work stress. If you follow these suggestions your transition in and out of illness will be as smooth as possible for both yourself and your employer.