You were not feeling well the night before, and you thought a good night’s rest would be all you need to get better. Now, it’s morning, and you know you’re still not well. 

You contemplate whether to go to work or to call in sick.

Ideally, you should spend your day at home getting rest and recovering, but that is not always an option. Sometimes, you have to go to work even if you are feeling under the weather. Perhaps, you need to rush a client report that cannot wait until you’re better, or maybe you have a crucial task that cannot be passed on to someone else.

Observing your symptoms 

If you are running a fever, you are feeling short of breath, you have had a cough for more than a week, you are experiencing sinus pain, or you have pink eye, it is better to call in sick and go straight to the doctor’s clinic. Setting yourself up for recovery is more productive over the long run compared to working when you are clearly sick.

On the other hand, you could be experiencing allergy symptoms, which include sniffles as well as itching in the throat. Perhaps you are down with a cold and cough. With the help of over the counter medication and certain measures that will keep yourself comfortable, you can survive most of your day at the workplace without any incident.

Getting through the day 

If calling in sick is not an option, here are a few tips that will help you power through your day even if you are not feeling your best: 

1. Consider telecommuting

Instead of coming into the office, why not see if you can make a request to get your work done at home? This way, you will be more comfortable, you can pace yourself better, and you can avoid putting your co-workers at risk of catching your cold. 

2. Get your things in order 

Even if you are able to come to the office, you may need to pass some of your usual tasks on to someone else while you take it slow. Prepare for this by putting together a to-do list, organizing your work files, and writing down instructions, among others. This way, if you or your immediate supervisor decide that getting help for you from a co-worker is a good idea, you can simply hand over everything that’s needed. 

3. Pace yourself

Whether you are working from home or at the office while sick, you will need to reorganize your routine in order to get work done while also managing your symptoms.

If you are working remotely in your own house, remember to take short breaks for naps to recharge instead of completing your tasks in one go as you would usually do.

If you were able to come to the office, inform your supervisor that you are feeling under the weather and request to take mini-breaks throughout the day.

4. Isolate yourself in the meantime

For the time being, make a conscious effort to maintain some distance from other people to minimize the chances of other people catching your cold.

As much as possible, bring everything you need inside the room in your house where you will be working, or to your desk at the office, and minimize your interaction with other people.

5. Keep yourself hydrated

Consuming plenty of liquids can help you feel better and loosen up mucus if you have a cold. There’s no need to stick to plain water, as you can also have some soups and drink fruit juice. 

However, avoid beverages like sodas, energy drinks, and caffeinated drinks.

6. Don’t forget to eat

At the office, you might find yourself wanting to get all your work done in one go so you can go home early. However, that is not advisable since it is important to rest for breaks and to nourish your body with a proper meal while sick. 

If you can, eat a bowl of chicken soup as it can provide you with a good measure of relief from the symptoms that you are experiencing.

7. Medicate

Take the appropriate medicine for what is ailing you. For example, if you have a stuffy nose, consider keeping a saline spray nearby. On the other hand, cough medication can help keep coughing at bay. For aches and pains, over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can double as a solution for both pain and fever.

Additional steps

Get a good night’s sleep

After getting work done at the office, head straight home, keep activities to a minimum, and get to bed as early as you can. Getting a good night’s rest can facilitate faster recovery and help prepare you for working again the next day.

Consult a professional

If you have been feeling sick for several days and your condition does not seem to improve, schedule a trip to the doctor’s clinic. Get a prescription for any medication you need to alleviate your condition or seek advice on whether you need further medical attention.

Working while you are feeling under the weather can be a trying experience. However, it is still possible to get some work done by following these tips.

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