Cold and flu season is just around the corner, and no matter how diligent you are about washing your hands and avoiding sick people, there’s no guarantee you’ll emerge scot-free. It’s not the end of the world if you catch an illness, but you might feel like it is. But how do you know if you’re sick enough to call out of work? If you’re having trouble deciding whether you should suck it up and head into work or stay at home on the couch, look for the following signs.
1. You’re contagious
If you have a bacterial or viral infection, you don’t want it to spread to the people you work with. According to The Wall Street Journal, many pediatricians tell parents of children to have them stay home from school at least 24 hours after the symptoms go away, and that’s the same for adults. Don’t go into work when you have symptoms, and wait a day after they’re gone until you head back in.
2. Germs are a threat at your job
Some jobs are more susceptible to germs than others, according to Women’s Health magazine. If you work with children or the elderly, or work in the food industry, you don’t want to risk getting other people sick.
3. You’re coughing and sneezing a lot
A runny nose and a bit of congestion isn’t pleasant, but it’s still manageable if you head into work. Sneezing and coughing, however, can not only disrupt co-workers, but can put them at risk of getting your infection. Plus, coughing and sneezing with colorful mucus is a sign that your infection is more serious than you think, which could warrant a trip to the doctor.
4. Rest sounds like the best thing for you
You can make an illness worse by not stopping to rest and let your body fight the infection. If you’d rather cut your sick time in half than take on a busy day and continue being sick, stay at home and gather your strength for tomorrow.
5. You have aches and pains
According to Women’s Health, aches and pains are a sign that your infection has spread throughout your body. Not only does it make the idea of working a nightmare, but it means you should take time off and recover before you start working again.
6. You have the chills
If you feel cold despite being under your warmest blanket, Women’s Health noted it’s a sign that the virus has entered your body and has started to multiply. It also means your temperature is likely to go up, which is a surefire sign you shouldn’t go into work.
When do you know you’re too sick to work?