Illness is unavoidable and it is inevitable that you will need to take time off of work at some stage of your career. This is the case irrespective of whether you are working remotely or not.
The hardest part of deciding to take a day off is knowing how to convey this to your boss. You know that you won’t be able to work effectively and you don’t want to run the risk of making mistakes because you are feeling awful.
In this day and age, it is so important to put yourself first and take care of your health whilst ensuring that you’re taking all of the key steps to protect your employer and ensure that your colleagues are not left in the lurch.
This is true even if you are working remotely just because you cannot pass on your illness to your coworkers directly, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t a liability.
You should avoid playing the martyr in order to please others when your body needs to rest and recover.
You know how your body works better than anyone else and so only you can determine whether you need to take a day off or not.
With that being said, there are some key questions that you should consider if you are undecided about whether your illness warrants time off. These questions are as follows:
- Do you have a fever?
- Will rest help you substantially?
- Do you need medical care?
- Will time off exacerbate the health concern?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you should plan to take the day off and recover. If you’re in too much discomfort and you are too tired to give your best efforts then the best thing that you can do for your company is rest.
Eating some freshly made soup and lying-in bed to allow your body to relax will ensure that you will return to work fully revitalized when the time is right.
It is always better to work when you are working at your best as you may overlook key information that lands your company in troubled waters at a later date.
Now that you have determined that you are unfit to work from home and need a day off, you should choose the best method of communication and convey this to your boss ASAP.
Whilst we cannot predict when we will fall unwell, it is always imperative to let our boss know as soon as we can as this allows them to make alternative arrangements for our work.
Ideally, your company should have made you aware of the protocol that you need to follow when you fall unwell. There is nothing worse than feeling awful as well as anxious about who you need to contact and how to do so.
Larger businesses will usually have a specific hotline to contact, but smaller businesses may require you to contact your boss directly. If you are not aware of which method to use, then you should contact your boss and confirm this.
Some companies will also require documentation from a medical professional upon your return and you should ascertain whether this is a requirement prior to taking a day off unexpectedly.
Be Clear And Concise About Your Illness
Once you have followed company protocol, then you should inform your boss of when you expect to be able to start working from home again. You should keep this communication succinct and precise and always inform them of your availability upon recovery.
Your boss is unlikely to want to know every detail about your illness, however, they will need to know that you’ll be unable to work and why you are unable to do so.
You can inform them that whilst you may not be able to complete all of your usual daily tasks, you will be able to check your emails if required to do so.
Obtaining a doctor’s note is a good way to ensure that your boss believes that you are unwell even if they do not ask you to provide one. It Is always useful to harness the power of official documentation if your boss is renowned to be strict with regards to absences.
If you are feeling incredibly unwell and will therefore be sleeping throughout the day, you should ensure that this is communicated to your employer as your team will need to be respectful of your space.
Whilst you are in recovery and this will spare you from being bombarded with emails that may overload you upon your return.
Finally, if your illness is fluctuating then you should be honest about this. If you have a horrific migraine that you feel may pass within a few hours then it is best to inform your employer that you may be able to start working from home at a later time during the day.
If this is the case, then you should specify that you will be unavailable until a specific time when you will be able to provide your employer with an update on how you are feeling.
Being specific and succinct about your illness will ensure that you are able to communicate with your boss effectively without damaging the relationship between yourself and the company that you work for.
If you have an important upcoming appointment or are approaching a crucial deadline, then you should ensure that you inform your colleagues about your illness at the earlier given opportunity in order to give them permission to communicate and delegate on your behalf.
This may be the last thing on your mind if you are incredibly unwell but if you can harness your strength enough to do so, then this will save you hassle at a later stage.
To conclude, once you are well enough to start working from home again and engaging with your usual daily schedule, you should check in with your employees in order to be updated on any changes that may have been implemented whilst you were away.
This will help you to clarify anything that you may have missed and ensure that you are able to catch up on your remote work efficiently.
It is incredibly normal to feel guilty when taking a day off work, however, health is wealth and it is vital that you are prioritizing your own needs as opposed to pushing yourself into further ill-health that will only render you unable to work in the long-term.