Why You Shouldn’t Go To Work Sick

why you shouldn't go to work sick

Even his Airness needed to slow down.

Americans pride themselves on hard work. We celebrate people that push through illness to accomplish a goal. But should we really?

When Michael Jordan scored 37 points during the 1997 NBA Finals “Flu Game” people nearly worshipped him as a god. It was pretty incredible. But for us regular office warriors, should we really spill our germs out to all our co-workers? Should we really receive honor for going to work when we feel like throwing up?

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go To Work Sick

1. You’ll Get Your Co-Workers Sick

Sickness is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace next to Facebook.

(I made that up).

But—illness does cause people to be less productive at work. Spreading sickness compounds the problem and makes others less productive at work, or even miss work altogether.

The average adult gets a cold about 2-4 times per year, with each lasting up to a week or longer. In fact, it’s been reported that 40% of work missed is from the common cold—which is about 23 million sick days a year.

Don’t be tempted to go to work with a cold, flu, or your rare disease. It’ll only make these matters worse.

2. Your productivity will get a beat down

Trudging through your physical toll at your work site is only likely to prolong your illness—and prolong you’re lack of productivity.

3. It’ll take longer to recover

It’s better to stay home, beat that cold, and come back at full (or nearly full) strength when you can. That’s much better than your illness dragging on for days or weeks longer than it needed to. Or even risking the relapse of getting sick again and slowing you down further.

4. Because you can’t be THAT important

Do you feel like your workplace can’t run without you? Maybe you need to go ahead and take a sick day just to get over that idea. And it’ll help your co-workers and underlings get over that idea too!

If your place of work is set up that it so dependently revolves around you, something is wrong. Time to take a hard look and reshape some things.

Don’t try to be a hero!

If you’re sick do all of us, and your employer, a favor. Stay home!


  1. This is a tough one for me since I am the business owner. I’ve been dealing with a soar throat for a few weeks now but it’s nothing bad enough to take the whole day off for which makes it tough for me.

    • Yeah, I feel you Chris, When you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. But it really is the opportunity cost of whether or not we should invest now in getting better faster by resting, or letting it drag out.

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