Naturally, calling in sick shouldn’t be a big deal. But the nature of the modern workplace has changed. Working remotely is the way businesses have adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now it’s not so easy with remote workers. With them, there is always the risk of disbelief when taking sick days. That is why a remote worker calling in sick from home needs to know what to say, when to say it and how to say it.
If you are a remote worker looking for the best way to call in sick when working from home, then you might want to read this article to the end. You will get important information that will answer questions about how to take a sick day when you work remotely.
Just keep reading.
What does a lack of sick days mean for remote workers?
A lot. Remote work has eliminated what we used to know as the “sick day”. Most remote workers find themselves working while taking pills for a stomach bug or sore throat. They’d miss a doctor’s appointment or might be busy answering business emails or doing some other work-related stuff when they are at one.
So what does this lack of sick days mean for remote workers?
A Change in Work Dynamics
The fear of falling behind schedule has kept many remote workers busy with the job even when they fall ill. In most cases, this can cause a bad health situation to get worse and probably result in less work being done in the end. Most employers have decided to adjust their work operations to handle situations like these.
Remote employees now have a replacement for the sick day policy. It is known as the “personal emergency days.” It is designed to make things a lot easier for remote employees with health challenges. It also helps them keep their affairs private as they can keep the nature and severity of their health challenges to themselves.
This new policy also allows them to keep other personal health matters like medical records and mental health status private. The concept of “personal emergency days,” has also improved the working conditions of remote employees. How? It allows them to avoid the fear or ridicule of missing work when they fall ill.
The inability to keep up with the demands of the job is the ultimate fear of employees who have to work from home. That is why some engage in the counterproductive act of forcing themselves to work when ill. In such conditions there will be a lack of efficiency as their performance is affected by distractions.
With personal emergency days you get to do the basic tasks that do not put a strain on your health. So you are efficient enough even when ill.
You Get To Take Things Easy
You could also afford to take a good rest whenever the strain of being ill starts to affect your work. One of the benefits of working from home is access to some level of comfort. You are able to take naps when you need them. But the best part about personal emergency days is that it affords you the peace and quiet that you need to recuperate physically.
Tips for calling in sick for a mental health day
Mental health days are important because they offer workers the opportunity to:
- Eliminate stress
- Manage their emotions better
- Evaluate situations and get the right perspective
With that in mind here are some tips for calling in sick for a mental health day.
It is unethical to lie when seeking to get leave for a mental head day. So if you don’t need such a break do not fake it. Rather you should tell your employers the real reason you want a break from work.
Inform Your Boss
Your boss is the person you report to and the last thing you want is to be on their bad side. So, you must let them know once you decide you need a day off. It is important that they know so that they can fill in for you in one way or the other. That way, your boss handles your absence better and the company does not suffer.
Plan What to Say
Choose the right words and rehearse them before going to see your boss about your need to take a break to get your mind right. If you fail to prepare, you will be nervous and you risk losing the chance to get the leave. Ask for the leave as soon as you can.
Stay Away From Work
Use the mental health day to take control of your mental health. Absence from work, introspection, relaxation, exercise, rest, and quality time with loved ones are some of the ways that you could use such leave. It is a break from work so you should take the time to tune up your mind and keep it healthy.
Good reasons for calling in sick
You can get fired if you call in sick for the wrong reasons. Workers can only miss work for reasons that align with the company’s policy. Unfortunately, many folks do not consider that, and they threaten their job security in the process.
Here are some reasons why workers can skip work:
A contagious sickness will hurt your co-workers and customers, so if you have a contagious disease, you should protect others by staying away from work. Let your boss know the nature of your sickness and how long you intend to stay away to treat it.
Injury or Illness that Affects Your Productivity
Certain health conditions could hamper your productivity at the workplace. Sometimes these conditions will require bed rest, so you might need to take a sick leave to recover from them. There is no need to show up at work when you can’t be at your most productive.
Another reason to skip work is to visit the doctor’s office to get the medical attention you need to manage a physical illness. Some severe medical conditions will require hospitalisation. If you find yourself in such a situation getting a sick leave is necessary because it gives you the time to get yourself back together. You might need to discuss with your HR department to clarify what is involved.
A pregnant woman may not be at her best at the workplace. Most companies recognize the importance of prenatal care so you won’t get in trouble for this reason. However, you might not be paid for the time taken to manage or deliver a pregnancy.
Family Emergency Issues
Taking the time to handle family health emergencies is acceptable at most workplaces. So once you notify your and the appropriate quarters at work, you are good to go.
What to say when you call in sick?
What you can say depends on the situation at hand. So let’s look at some of these situations.
When You’re Sick:
“I think I’m coming down with a cold, and I’m worried about making my coworkers sick. I want to take the day off. I should feel better when I wake up. Thanks for your understanding. I hope to work tomorrow.”
When You Have A Doctor’s Appointment:
“I let you know a few months back that I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for today. So, with your permission, I won’t be coming to work today.
When You Need A Mental Health Day:
“I need to take a personal day to revitalise so I can come back feeling better and more valuable to the team. “
When You Have To Treat Pain
“I have very acute pain in my back, and I would love some time off from the office to treat it.”
“I am currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, and I would love some time off to take care of myself.”
Family Emergency Issues
“My pregnant wife urgently needs to go to a hospital.”
Remote Work and Technology Change the Sick Day?
Work as we knew it has metamorphosed into a form where people no longer need to travel long hours to brick and mortar offices. All thanks to personal computers, internet services and a host of other tools.
These days colleagues can have conference calls and virtual meetings wherever they are in the world, once time differences have been sorted out. With this model, overhead costs are minimized. A computer and good internet connection are all that is needed to have an office regardless of the location. Hence the name, remote work.
Remote work is the future of the modern workplace but it comes with some costs. One of those costs is the gradual elimination of the sick day as we knew it.
Once upon a time, sick days meant that employees were exempted from working. If the remote worker has to stay home it becomes difficult to avoid drawing the line between work life and the other aspects of life.
How to take a sick day as a Remote Worker?
Working while sick helps no one, yet falling sick is inevitable as long as you are made of flesh and blood. So what do you do?
Here are some steps to take if you find yourself under the weather with a pile of work to do:
Communicate Effectively and Promptly
Once you notice that you have an illness communicate the situation to your employer. Follow the established protocol for such situations. Put it in writing if you have to.
Hit The Bull’s Eye
Get straight to the point. No need to explain your medical history or give a detailed diagnosis of the situation. Just ensure that you communicate the steps you would be taking and how it would be affecting your availability. Give your employer an idea of when you expect to be back on your feet and ready to add value to the team.
Be as straightforward as possible so that your boss can draw a contingency plan where necessary.
Keep In Touch
Contact your employers and colleagues once you feel better. It would be best if you kept them updated about your condition. It eliminates any doubts and helps to strengthen your working relationships in the company.