Well, it finally happened. I caught the cold my husband and kids have had for weeks now, despite weeks of Zicam-ing it up. (With my husband, at least, it was actually the flu — the rest of us had flu shots, so hopefully I (and the kids) got a more mild version.) So here’s today’s … Read More about How Do You Pamper Yourself When You’re Sick?
We all know we shouldn’t go to work when we’re sick. But whether you’re a presidential candidate or have a more typical career, most of us do it anyway. (Note: Here I’m referring to the average Corporette reader with full-time benefits; the millions of Americans without paid sick leave don’t have much choice about whether to stay home and rest.) … Read More about 6 Things to Have on Hand When You’re Sick at Work
I’m sick right now (boooo), having caught my husband’s cold. We’ve talked a bit in the past about how to ward off colds, but I was thinking last night how much my colds in general really do seem to be milder and quicker than people around me. So here are a few of my simple tricks… 5 Easy … Read More about Five Easy Ways to Get Over a Cold
2017 update: Links have been updated below; you may also want to check out our latest discussion of how to pamper yourself when you’re sick. What do you do if you think you’re getting sick — and what are your best tips on how to ward off a cold? We’ve talked about how to work … Read More about Sniff, Sniff: What to Do When You Think You’re Getting Sick
Should you network while sick? Reader M wonders, particularly when it comes to clients she already has… I haven’t seen this covered in your advice column and have just bumbled my way through a client meeting while heavily drugged with Sudafed and wanted your take on what a better approach would be. I work in … Read More about Meeting the Client… While “Heavily Drugged” with Cold Medicine
2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on 6 Things to Have on Hand When You’re Sick at Work. Today’s poll is inspired by reader V’s question: I work in Big Law and throughout the recruiting season, I shake a lot of hands. Now and then I encounter someone who says, I’m sorry, I don’t shake … Read More about Do You Shake Hands When You’re Sick?
When we saw the headline about this — a firmwide memo smacking down an employee who dared to come to work with flu-like symptoms — we were a bit amused. (When we read the memo, we were a bit disgusted — whoever had flu-like symptoms knew he or she would be working in a closed conference room with several others, including a pregnant woman — and we have to agree that it was just as “self-absorbed” as the managing partner said it was.) But it seems to raise an interesting question: when you’re forced to work while you’re sick, how do you power through? (Pictured: Sam the Owl Tissue Box Cozy, $15 from Etsy seller tinsil)
Fun story: for this post we actually spend a bit of time trying to find authoritative information for you guys on when a cold is contagious — we seem to remember it having something to do with the color of your snot (clear = allergies or cold, yellow or green = contagious) and your temperature (over 100 is bad). We couldn’t actually find any quick and easy source, but really — these days, we’re all just going to come down on the same side, aren’t we? If you’re sick, work from home.
In any event — even if you’re home in your pajamas, you may not have the luxury of lounging about in bed and watching “Real Housewives” reruns. You may actually have to work. If you do, here are some tips…
(Caveat: We are not doctors, and this is just our own tips on what works for us. Feel free to call us insane.)
– Take Vitamin C. No matter where you are, when you start to get that telltale tickle in the back of your throat, take Vitamin C. Orange juice from the deli or vending machine will do fine, but we like Emergen-C. (Less calories.)
– Prep your office. If you’re still at the office when you start to get sick, either take paperwork home with you, or — at least! — put your paperwork in a neat pile (or piles) before you leave, instead of leaving it spread around your office. Because sure, you might be fine tomorrow — but you might wake up feeling like a truck hit you. In which case, if you need to do work, your office will want to send your paperwork to you by messenger, and you’ll want whoever the lucky person is who’s ransacking your office to find things easily.
– Figure out what sort of “face time” you need for your office. No office is going to encourage you to come into the office, but in this economy you want to make sure that you’re still getting “points” for doing your work (particularly if you’re nearly killing yourself to do it). Call whoever you need to call (cough into their voicemail, whatever); be sure to follow it up with a work-related e-mail that shows you’re actually working if you say you are (and if you’re expending energy to do so).
– Sleep in shifts. If you really need to work and are just completely sacked by a cold, stop thinking about a normal “day” and sleep in shifts. For example: if you’re exhausted when you get home but have tons more work to do, go to sleep at 9:00. Set your alarm for midnight — after three hours you’ll have just completed two REM cycles, and you’ll be much more refreshed, focused, and energetic than you would have been had you tried to work until midnight. (Repeat as necessary until the project is where it needs to be.)
– Liquids, liquids, liquids. Soup. Water. Tea. (If you have a nasty cough, we lurve drinking hot water with lemon and honey — the honey soothes the throat and the lemon cuts the phlegm.) Did we mention soup? Force the water down — the faster this cold runs its course the sooner you can be back at full speed.
– Quarantine both yourself and your stuff. Don’t be around other people (roommates, spouse, kids, whatever) any more than you have to be. If you’re working with company books (treatises or whatnot), try to be considerate of them — no sneezing on the materials. In fact, try to get in the habit of sneezing into your elbow — it’s a better way to go about it in general. When you’re back at the office, feeling better, don’t give your germy paperwork to someone else. If you were wearing a favorite sweater or wrap or anything (either while sick or in the day or two leading up to getting sick), wash that puppy. In fact, try to wipe down your whole office (including your telephone handset).
All right, ladies — what are your tips? How do you power through when you have to work and you’re sick?