How to Work when You are Sick

When you’re sick, the best thing you can do is sleep, hydrate, and focus on healing. However, many of us do not have the opportunity to take the time to get back on our feet. Not all of us can benefit from sick leave, and some people fear falling behind at work or school when they are sick [1]. 90% of us have already gone to work when we were not feeling well If you absolutely have to work while you are sick, you may be able to relieve your symptoms and divide the tasks into several simple segments. This will help you be productive even when you are not at your best.

1 -Decide whether or not to go to work. You may be too sick to go to work and need to stay home. By staying at home, you will prevent your condition from worsening and infecting your colleagues. You may also heal faster and be more productive when you return to the office.  Think carefully and see if you can work or if it is in your best interest to focus on your recovery.

If you have a high fever (above 38 ° C) or have a very sore throat, you may need to see a doctor. Also see your doctor if you have trouble staying hydrated or if you don’t feel better after a few days

Many of us cannot afford not to work when we are sick. If this is your case, you will need to find a way to take care of yourself while you work.

2- Ask to work from home. You may be able to work from home, instead of going to the office. This option will be ideal for employees (who can focus more on their recovery), but also for employers (who will not have to worry about other employees being infected). Talk to your manager and see if this option would be possible

To be able to work from home, you will likely need a secure laptop and a high-speed internet connection, and will need to be able to be reached by phone.

3- Stay calm. Having to work while sick can be stressful. However, stress weakens the immune system and it takes longer to heal . Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you will be fine. Tell yourself that although you are ill, you will be able to be productive and recover from your illness. The situation is certainly not ideal, but you will overcome it.

4- Organize your work as soon as you think you are about to get sick. Sometimes we have a day or two of warning before we actually get sick. Perhaps you feel exhausted, numb, or sleepy.  As soon as you feel like you’re brooding, organize your tasks so you can be productive even when sick. Go as far as possible in your work and try to bring work home, so that you have everything you need if you cannot come to the office the next day.

5-Divide large tasks into small segments. When you are sick, you probably have trouble concentrating and lose your motivation. To get you going, think of your workload as a series of small, easy-to-do tasks. The Pomodoro technique, for which you will work in 25-minute periods interspersed with short breaks, will be particularly effective when you are sick.

For example, instead of telling yourself that you have to do a full presentation, tell yourself instead that you have to do several slides, one after the other. After completing a slide, take a break to pamper yourself, take a short nap, or drink some tea.

6- Work on lower stakes projects. If you can, when you’re sick, focus on low-stakes projects. This will prevent you from making silly mistakes on important tasks. When you’re not feeling well, calmly assess whether it’s absolutely necessary for you to work on important projects. Instead, try to catch up on smaller, less important tasks.

For example, take advantage of a day when you are not feeling well to sort your emails, organize documents or prepare your schedule for the following month. Try to avoid tasks that require a lot of thought, such as writing an important report.

Also prefer to work on first drafts rather than final versions of your reports and projects. You will be able to rework your drafts once you have recovered. This will prevent you from making big mistakes in the final version of a project.

7- Smartly set your priorities. A sick worker is generally only productive at 60% of his usual capacity . You will then need to think carefully about the type of work you will need to do while you are sick. Take a look at your deadlines and schedule, to prioritize your tasks while you are sick.

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