It’s getting colder outside, and it’s that time of year when people start getting sick and must make a decision: Should I go to work or stay home today? Here are reasons to seriously consider the latter:

Think of others

You are contagious in the early stages of a cold. You might think you are able to operate sick, but your co-workers may not be so hearty. By passing your germs around, you risk hurting the efficiency of everyone in the office and therefore your company’s productivity as a whole, no matter how well you think you are performing between tissue-blowing sessions.

Think of yourself

You think you can function while sick, but you can’t. The aches, the pains, the number of times you have to look up and twitch your nose around to fight a sneeze — or worse — are certainly affecting your performance. The more days you push yourself, the longer it is going to take you to get better. You will actually be doing yourself a service by staying home just one day. Stay in bed. Drink lots of fluids. Relax. By the time you wake up the next morning, you should feel more energized and ready for the work ahead.

You’re not that special

The company will not fall apart if you call in sick one day because of a cold. Don’t be so arrogant as to think: “I have to come in — who can do my job if I don’t?” Bob, the guy in the cubicle next to you, would be highly offended by that belief, because he is quite capable of filling in while you recuperate. And now you’ve given him your cold, too. You better hope he doesn’t pick your name in the company’s next Secret Santa drawing.

You can work from home

We live in an age where this is possible, so when you’re sick, you should be allowed to take advantage of technology. Break out the laptop in bed. Not only are you getting rest, but you’re not getting everyone else sick, you’re satisfying your need to get the job done, and you’re helping your company by still being there despite not being physically present. Plus you get to work in your pajamas – who doesn’t like that?

They give you time off — take it!

When you join the company, they explain how many vacation days, personal days and sick days you are entitled to. They are basically telling you that if you get sick, don’t come in — at least three to five times a year, depending on the company. It’s your responsibility to only be sick for that many days, and if you are, just stay home. You’ve earned it.

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