By: Maurice Gilbert
Sickness – and preventing it – is top of mind these days. You can hardly turn on the radio or TV without hearing mention of Ebola. This may be even truer here in Dallas, where to date we’ve had one person succumb to Ebola, two more contract the virus, and dozens more put under quarantine because of their proximity to the infected.
Accusations and judgments have been bandied about with regard to a couple of victims’ decisions to travel, failure to self report and seeming disregard for others around them. And this with a virus that’s highly infectious, but not as yet highly contagious.
With flu season approaching, we’d all do well to practice what we expect of others: contain the contagion; don’t share your cough or sniffles with your work buddies. There’s a good chance we’ve all come in to the office when we ought to have stayed home. Maybe your fever was mild enough to just make you feel run-down, not on death’s door. Or you were mostly recovered from a bout with the flu. But perhaps these recent health scares will make us take more seriously the practice of staying home when sick.
There are multiple reasons to try to push through the pain. For instance, maybe you don’t want to use up a sick day, you have a looming deadline or you simply can’t afford to miss a few days of work. A recent survey has found that more than one-third of workers will always work when sick, with men being nearly twice as likely to go to work ill. What’s especially unsettling is that the workers who can least afford to take sick days are often those in high-touch industries, such as food service.
I wonder if part of what’s behind the spread of common sicknesses – whether abroad or stateside – is a cavalier approach to our health. Take care of yourselves, friends, and take care of each other.
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.