Since the COVID-19 pandemic, work structures have been heavily transformed into remote and hybrid models.
Remote work was initiated as a way for employers to ensure the safety and continuity of their employees. But what about working remotely on sick days? Is it an efficient way to work?
- It is Flexible: employees can still work from home while recovering from an illness in the comfort of their homes.
- Lowers Health Risk: Remote work minimizes contagiousness across the office.
- Improved Productivity: Working from home in sick conditions is better than working in the office, which makes employees productive.
- Overwork & Burnout: employees may overcompensate for sick leaves, diminishing well-being.
- Reduced Sick Leave Usage: employees resist taking days off but instead work remotely, increasing the pressure to complete tasks when rest is needed.
Employees request remote work instead of sick days for multiple reasons. It can mean continued contribution while recovering, reduced stress of falling behind, and an enhanced work-life balance when balancing work and health. On the other hand, it can also mean potential inefficiency, where some tasks are made for an in-office environment. Remote working while sick can also lead to boundary challenges between professional and personal lives.
In the end, promoting work-life balance is crucial. Companies should encourage sick days and open communication regarding employee well-being. What makes a “sick day” can change, but a balanced approach to work and health should be prioritized for an efficient remote and hybrid work landscape.