At some point during your working life you will have a time where you are sick, and not feeling particularly well, but you continue to work through the illness or injury. In today’s working environment many employees consider this a demonstration of being a good team player and showing how much they value their job. Sometimes it seems like many people are in denial when they’re sick or injured and refuse to take the time off they need in order to get better. Some of this may come from fear of losing the job and some of it may come from a feeling they can work through anything. However, regardless of the reason there are some occasions where working through a sickness or injury is not a very a smart idea and in fact may be detrimental to your long term health and prospects.
Perhaps the primary time when it’s really stupid to continue working is when the illness or injury is getting progressively worse. If you find your health is deteriorating, and that you’re not getting better week after week, you may be setting yourself up for more serious problems. No matter what your age the human body can only take so much illness, and so many injuries, before your immune system is compromised. Once that happens more serious conditions could happen that will shorten your lifespan and impede your ability to enjoy your life going forward. Furthermore it may hamper your ability to continue to work and end up costing you your job in the end.
It can be quite surprising to discover that the smallest thing can lead to big problems, but our bodies are a lot more problematic than you might think. Something like a burst blister on your big toe can become infected, which if untreated can lead to blood poisoning, gangrene, and even death.
Despite what many employees believe, many employers do not want their workers in the office when they’re sick because it can lead to other employees getting the illness and even passing it on to their customers. So it is highly recommended to discuss the fact you are sick with your boss to see if you can come up with some arrangement which will allow you to work from home until you’re well. If you have an injury you should definitely inform your boss about it because otherwise you could compromise his/her business’ insurance. Keeping silent about an injury is never a good idea because it could put your employer’s whole operation at risk.
Additionally, in many jurisdictions when you have a serious injury there is a government worker’s compensation program you can apply for which will help provide you with financial support until you’re healed and ready to return to work.
If you are in a situation where your boss is threatening your job if you don’t come in to work, it’s probably a safe bet that your work environment is a very stressful one, and one which may be contributing to your health issues. Under this scenario you need to take a critical eye towards your employer, and your working environment, to see if the stress you’re experiencing is causing or contributing to your health issues. There is a limit as to how much stress your mind and body can take before it starts to rebel. If you find yourself positively dreading going into work each day and have continuing headaches, stomach aches, and other physical manifestations, this is likely your body’s way of telling you that this is a negative environment for you. Continuing in an environment where stress is constant can eventually lead to more serious problems with blood pressure and your heart, so be aware of how much of a price you may be paying in terms of your health to keep working there.
The vital thing to keep in mind is that no one is going to put your health first, but you, so you need to at times keep your own self-interests in mind. While there is little doubt that there exists increasing pressure within the workplace to give more and more of ourselves, if it ends up compromising your long term health not only will you lose out, but your employer will too. So remember to look after yourself and give your body the time it needs to get better that way you’ll be able to enjoy a long and happy life.