Three Reasons Why You Work Sick

Flu season has been bad this year.

So bad in fact that it kept me out of the office for three days. At first I felt guilty for missing work, but by the end of my time off I realized that I shouldn’t feel bad for taking a few days to take care of myself. By allowing yourself the time you need to get healthy, you’re more likely heal faster and be more productive sooner.

However, I still see a lot of pros pushing themselves despite their fragile state, compromising their health even more, as well as the health of those around them.

Why do we do this, knowing it could take us even longer to get better and work at our full capacity?

I think there are three main reasons;

  1. You don’t want to seem weak. Everyone wants to look strong and capable of doing their work no matter the circumstances. The first day I was sick, I went to work and suffered through a whole day because I didn’t want to seem weak.
  2. You don’t want to slack. No one wants others to think they are not working hard enough. If you’re sick during a week when you have a lot of work or you’re on deadline, it can be hard to pass off assignments or work from home because you’re afraid others may think you’re slacking.
  3. You don’t want to miss out. When you’re out of the office, you tend to get out of the loop. Missing key news, conversations or opportunities when your out sick can be enough to make you want to suck it up instead of sleeping it off.

These three reasons were why I felt really guilty taking time off from work at first. However, after giving myself the rest I desperately needed and not subjecting myself to unnecessary stress, I felt myself getting better faster and not caring as much about the things above.

When it comes to our personal health and well being, we all need to stop caring about what other’s might think and start making decisions based on what’s best for us. As long as you keep your colleagues up to date on your progress, hand off time-sensitive assignments and offer help in an emergency, then no one will question your work ethic or dependability.

Have faith in the work that you do every day and don’t let a sick day or two make you question what you’re capable of. If you acknowledge this, I promise you won’t feel like you have to be at work when your sick and will give yourself the time you need to get better.

Why do you go to work when you’re sick?

5 thoughts on “Three Reasons Why You Work Sick

  1. I know how you feel! In 19 years at my job, I had 180 sick days because I never felt I
    deserve a sick day. I always thought I had to be invincible, tough, and never show
    weakness. I now have accepted that I am human and it’s OK not to put my job first. I’m now
    retired, and love every minute of it.

    Aunt Patsy

  2. When I went to work sick, I found that my work suffer, more than I did. As you get older and wiser you realize the important of good health, and honesty the job will always be there even if your not! Well being & good health should always be a priority.


    1. You nailed it! Young pros are the worst at taking care of themselves because they are all trying to work as hard as they can to get ahead and don’t stop for anything, especially to take care of themselves. What they don’t know is that the secret to success is taking care of themselves along their career path, not at the end. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I go to work when I’m sick to prevent me from getting behind. If I take a day off then when I return I have twice as much work to do in a single day. But it’s not fair to those around me. What if I make everyone sick in the office and everyone takes one or more sick days? Talk about getting behind! As always, great article.

Post a Comment