How to decide if you're too sick to go to work

Sometimes, especially during cold and flu season, it might seem as if there’s always a sick person in your office. Unfortunately, you don’t have unlimited sick days.

So, how do you know when it’s time to call off work? It’s important to weigh your options to determine what’s best for you as well as those you’ll come in contact with during the day.

Feeling under the weather? Get the care you need and call a UPMC primary care doctor near you.

The Complete Guide to Taking a Sick Day

The first step when you wake up in the morning feeling not-so-pleasant is to evaluate your symptoms before calling off work.

When to head to the office

If you’re experiencing one of the following, it’s probably OK to go to work and save your sick day for another time.

RELATED: Is It a Cold, Strep Throat, or Tonsillitis?

When to take a sick day

However, if your symptoms worsen or if you experience any of the following, it’s a good idea to call in sick:

Should You Stay Home Sick?

When you have a limited number of sick days at work, it can be tempting to power through your illness.

Key questions to ask yourself

Here are a few things you should consider before you decide to clock in:

  • Can you carry out your duties well? If you’re very sick, you may not be able to handle all your responsibilities and functions at work. If that’s the case, it may be best to stay home.
  • Will you get better quicker if you take time to rest?  People who continue to work at their normal level when sick tend to see worsening symptoms. Resting always helps the body fight off illness and recover faster.
  • Will your medicine impair your driving, thinking, and/or working abilities? If so, you should stay home from work.

Editor's Note: This infographic was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

About Primary Care

The relationship with a patient and their primary care doctor can be extremely valuable, and that’s what you get with UPMC Primary Care. When you work with a primary care physician (PCP), you develop a lasting relationship. Your doctor will get to know you and your history and can plan your treatments accordingly. Our PCPs offer a variety of services, including preventive care and treatment for both urgent and chronic conditions. With dozens of UPMC Primary Care locations across our network of care, you can find a PCP close to you. Schedule an appointment today.