Should You Stay Home with a Cold or the Flu?

We tend to admire people who stay on the job, even when they’re under the weather. If the cold or flu virus spreads through the workplace, however, we might just wish they had stayed at home.

Deciding when to stay home with a bug should center around two factors:

1) Are you physically up to the task? Rest is an important part of recovery, so working when you have a cold or the flu may mean it takes longer to fully recover.
2) Are you putting other people at risk? It can be difficult to tell when you are at high risk for spreading a virus. In some cases, flu sufferers become contagious before any symptoms appear. In other cases, severe symptoms might be caused by an allergy, not a virus at all.

Ultimately, you have to use your own best judgment. Rather than asking if you can work, ask if you should work and risk spreading your condition to others. As a courtesy, and to help maintain a productive workplace, you may want to keep your cold and flu symptoms to yourself.

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