Anxious About Taking A Sick Day When Working From Home? Here Are 3 Things To Consider
When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want is to feel stressed about taking a sick day from work. During the pandemic, a study found that 42% of workers are now more stressed and anxious about taking a day off sick than they were pre-pandemic. Working from home adds more stress to the matter, as employees tend to feel as though they need to show they are getting their work done and that their productivity levels haven’t been affected. This then leads to longer working hours, fewer breaks and more mental fatigue. Add to this the stress of the pandemic, and the potential for burnout is heightened.
Although we are in a pandemic and working from home, that doesn’t mean that employees aren’t getting sick. Whether due to a pre-existing condition or illness, migraines or simply just stress-related, there are still plenty of reasons as to why an employee may need time off work. With that in mind, here are 3 things to consider when taking a sick day when working from home.
Mental Health Days Are Needed
Although taking a sick day from work can be a cause of anxiety and stress, it is often the case that being stressed and anxious is the reason behind needing a sick day, making it a vicious cycle. Remote workers have reportedly needed the highest number of sick days, with 64% stating that they were more likely to take a sick day for mental health reasons than ever before. Taking a sick day in relation to your mental health should be used as an opportunity to reset and rest.
When your mind and body are both on the same page, you are able to function at a much higher capacity. By identifying when your body and mind need rest and taking a sick day, you are able to preserve your mental function and put yourself at less risk from burnout.
You Need To Rest
When you’re not feeling great and working from home, it makes sense for you to continue working from the comfort of your home office, as you’re not having to leave the house to make the commute into work and risk putting your coworkers at risk of catching your illness. Instead, you can just sit at your desk in your pyjamas, with a hot drink and some painkillers and get on with your day, right? But, working from home whilst you are sick isn’t going to help you get better, in fact, it is likely to prolong your illness and make you feel worse.
You need to rest and ensure your body is getting plenty of sleep and fluids, rather than focusing on this week’s numbers or trying to meet that deadline that’s looming. When you feel ill and continue to work, you’re unlikely to be contributing much anyway, so instead, take a day or two off sick and rest in bed, so that when you return to work, you can give it your best.
Your Health Is Important
Generally speaking, when working from home it is much easier to take better care of yourself. You can cook healthy meals, go for walks during the day and spend less time commuting or sitting at a desk. However, if you do feel unwell and are working from home, it’s important to acknowledge that your health is important, especially during the pandemic. Whether you need to make a doctor’s appointment, take a mental health day or need to take care of family members, then you should do so.
Now is a good time to take a look at your overall health and wellbeing, especially during the pandemic. Are you eating healthily enough? Spending enough time doing exercise? If not, a health overhaul may be well overdue. Even simple thing such as taking a multivitamin each day can have huge benefits, whereas vitamin D tablets can help with decreased exposure to the sun during winter. Try and challenge yourself to walk a certain number of steps per day and make sure your diet is packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains.