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Should You Use Sick Days While Working Remotely?

Should You Use Sick Days While Working Remotely?

Prior to the pandemic, we wrote an article discussing whether it’s okay to use sick time when you are not actually sick. Some employers take this seriously, while others let you use your sick time at your leisure. However, a new dilemma has arisen as many of us continue to work from home: should you use sick days while working remotely? With nearly 92% percent of employees still working from home in some capacity, should you use sick time when sick or power through it?

Why you should use sick time while working from home

Before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, it was a pretty simple process to stay home when feeling under the weather. It was an easy decision to stay home to rest up and prevent infecting your colleagues. Fast forward to today, and this decision becomes more challenging. Since you are already home, should you buck up and get your work done? In a recent poll by OnePoll, two out of three Americans feel less inclined to take time off when feeling ill. 70% of respondents also reported that they worked from home while feeling sick. However, this mindset leads to “presenteeism,” which is when employees are present at work but unable to perform and focus. As a result, this can lead to burnout, longer recovery times, and even costly mistakes or accidents.

So, instead of logging on with the sniffles, use some of your paid time off to rest up. After all, that’s what sick time is for!

How employers can help encourage healthy habits

Back in the day, the employees that came to work with a head cold were portrayed as committed and hardworking. In some circumstances, these people set a precedent, making others feel uncomfortable for utilizing their sick time instead of coming into the office. But the pandemic has forced many employers to abandon this mentality. Instead of discouraging employees from using sick time, executives need to foster a culture of acceptance. Companies need to encourage their employees to utilize their time off when feeling ill and make it known that it’s okay to log off and rest up. If one of your teammates is obviously under the weather, or you notice their mental health is less than par, urge them to use their time off.

Promoting a culture where it’s okay to use sick days while working from home will help you combat the Great Resignation and make it easier for your hiring team to attract new talent in this competitive market. Looking for more ways to attract new employees during these challenging times? Check out our client resources!

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