We are living in an age where as well as Christmas Day, Easter Day, your birthday and any other day of celebration you can think of … we also have National Sickie Day. For 2017, this was predicted as the 6th February – it’s not a national holiday, just a wager on when the most people will call in sick to work. It takes into account many factors like the time of the year, how long it is until the next major holiday, relation to how much money people have after Christmas and generally when people need to take some time off to perk themselves back up enough to face the working week again. Naturally it would have to be a Monday – why miss the chance of a long weekend?
It’s becoming easier and easier for us to phone into work sick. Most of us don’t even have to speak to declare that we won’t be making it into work that day; we can send an email or a text and avoid having to put on a cough and a feeble voice in order to convince our bosses. Working from home can have its benefits as you can usually stretch out your workload across the day, unless working to a tight deadline. Whatever your excuse is, or whenever you decide to take it, it’s having a big effect on those who are actually in need of a day off.
Those who suffer from poor mental health may be less inclined to phone in sick for fear of repercussions that those who have preceded them have set in motion. Gossip around offices flies around fast, and you may even be guilty of sitting with a workload in front of you, questioning how ill the person who has taken the time off really is. It’s a toxic environment to be in, and one that very few can overturn or escape from. Not disclosing how ill you really are for fear of judgment is a scary way to live your life; at a time where compassion and harmony is being promoted, people are quick to share the photos on instagram yet aren’t putting it into practice in their everyday lives. If someone is complaining of a headache, it could be an indicator of something a lot worse (http://www.mesotheliomahelp.org is a good example of just how bad it can be), and it’s kinder to remind yourselves of how bad it can be and empathize with those who aren’t feeling totally themselves currently. Treat others as you would wish others to treat you should you be in their situation. Those crying wolf will become clear in due time.
Don’t just stand there
Say something. If you feel that you or a colleague should go home for the benefit of your health, make it known. A workplace cannot survive on a group of employees who all flake at the same time due to an illness that has been stirring but overlooked for days, weeks or months. Not only will be help you, it will help them when you return back healed and ready to face the day.