Spreading the flu to co-workers is about the nastiest thing you can do - but research shows having a common cold is enough reason to stay home. Why? Because you're just not as productive--and showing up just to show up isn't helping anyone.
If you have symptoms and aren't sure whether to stay home or punch the clock, here are the facts to help you figure it out:
- Sniffling. If it's just sniffling with no aches or fever, get to work; it's most likely allergies. If you're achy, tired or feverish, it's probably the flu and you're contagious! Stay put! Not only are you not welcome at work, you'll recover faster staying home.
- Chills and sweats. If your clothes are soaked, you have a fever. You're contagious! Stay home!
- If you have a fever plus white patches on your tonsils, it might be strep which is highly contagious. See a doctor.
- Coughing. If it's that tickling from post-nasal drip, get a move on and take plenty of tissues with you. If other cold symptoms such as aches and fever are along for the ride, pull the covers over your head.
- And if you have nausea, vomiting, aches, and a low-grade fever, lay low for several days. Drink lots of fluids, especially water, so you don't get dehydrated. Those are signs of a stomach virus. If you feel sick within 6 to 12 hours of eating, it's just food poisoning. Once you're able to hold food down, you're fine to go to work.